Friday, July 13, 2012

The District 9 School Board Race and public forum

The 9th District School Board race has five candidates seeking the seat and several of them are well known. The candidates are Bob Bogen, Eric Crafton, Margaret O. Dolan, Amy Frogge and Ronnie Osborne.

School Board elections do not have a provision for a runoff, so whoever gets the most votes wins. Usually School Board races have low voter participation, so this means the candidate who can identify and turn out his or her voters can win and it may not take that many votes.

Bog Bogen is a former council member, the former executive director of the teachers union (MNEA) and a former public schools teacher. Having been the former executive director of MNEA, I would have assumed he would have gotten the MNEA endorsement, but he did not.

Amy Fogue is an attorney, has been active in the Gover PTA,  has the endorsement of the SEIU, and Bellevue-area Metro Councilwoman Sheri Weiner.

Margaret Dolan, is the vice president of community relations for Ingram Industries, has the endorsement of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the teachers union (MNEA) the pro-charter schools group Great Public Schools, Mayor Karl Dean, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors and several other council members. When recent campaign finance report were filed, it was revealed that Ms Dolan had raised more money than had ever been raised for a school board race (link).

Eric Crafton is well known. He served in the Metro Council two full terms and part of another, led the failed English-only attempt, run but lost a race for Juvenile Court Clerk and ran for a Council-at- large seat in the last Council elections. I thought Crafton would make it into a runoff when he ran for the at-large Council seat, but all incumbents captured enough votes to win without a run-off and Crafton was shut out.

I know and like Crafton. Although I did not support the English-only effort, I supported and worked for Crafton when he ran for Juvenile Court Clerk and for Council-at-large. I know Eric to be a good, honest, caring person who has a passion for children. He is fiscally and socially conservative and is well-educated, has a sharp mind and has a thorough command of the issues. We need someone like Eric Crafton on the School Board.

Ronnie Obsorne is a retired teacher and former basketball coach at Mississippi State.

For the Tennessean's coverage of the race go here

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1 comment:

  1. Amy Frogge is an incredible candidate. I know the SEIU endorsement gives you pause, but I believe it is based on the union's respect for Amy's stated belief that the school employees they represent interact with our children on a daily basis and should be treated well, much as our teachers should. (SEIU endorsed Eric Crafton in last year's council race but chose not to in this race.)

    Onto school issues, Amy Frogge is incredibly qualified. She's been a volunteer in our public schools for years, in addition to serving as a PTO president, and has a unique understanding of the challenges facing our school system. She recognizes the need for parental responsibility and involvement and the need for accountability in our schools. Through her work at Gower Elementary School, Amy created several partnerships with the community and local businesses, bringing resources into the schools that allowed for the development of unique and engaging programs to help drive achievement. I'm looking forward to seeing these kinds of programs available for all of our schools.

    Amy Frogge also has a great mind and heart. She graduated with honors from Southern Methodist before obtaining a law degree at UT. When she's not taking care of her family, she writes grants part-time for Room in the Inn, a faith-based charity that helps our community's homeless. She's deeply respected in the community, and the grassroots enthusiasm that's been building in her favor is the result of her deep knowledge of and passion for our schools. It's no wonder that a pan-partisan group of councilmembers have endorsed her despite the fact that she's up against serious outside money.

    The first of my two children will head to kindergarten next fall, and we'll be very lucky to have someone like Amy Frogge on our school board.