Holland Powell to run for Selma School Board

Published 12:44 am Sunday, September 20, 2009

SELMA — Holland Powell has qualified as a candidate for the Selma City School Board in the combined Wards 1 and 2.

Powell is the president and CEO of Benefit Development Group and has a long history of community service.

Powell believes that in high-achieving school systems, the leadership team creates the conditions necessary to generate results.

Those conditions include continuous improvement and shared decision-making, knowing what it takes to change achievement, shared leadership, staff development, workplace support, community involvement and a balance between system wide direction.

Beyond creating conditions for success, boards in high-achieving systems set clear expectations, hold the system accountable, learn as a board team and connect with the community to build public support for student success.

“Local school boards must first establish student achievement as their highest priority.”  As advocates for children and public education, we need to fully understand what’s at stake for our students as they prepare for adulthood and the work force. Education decision makers need to recognize and acknowledge that the academics of yesterday are not sufficient for today. We must prepare our students for their 21st century life ahead.

“As a recent graduate of Leadership Alabama I learned the importance of a strong public education system and the far reaching implications it has for improving the community overall,”  says Powell.  “My children have graduated from high school and are now furthering their education and living out of Selma.  My hope is to help improve our community so that they will be able to return home one day and that can not be accomplished without an effective public school system for everyone.

“.  The first thing a prospective employer looks for is a strong public school system and we do not have that now.”  Powell says.

“We must support progressive leadership in our schools and search for ways we can improve the quality of education for the citizens of Selma.  In order for our community to survive we must put the past in past and march toward creating a public school system we can be proud of.  One that includes all the citizens of Selma” Powell continued.

As a successful business owner working daily with employers across the country Powell understands what they are looking for in a community.  “Infrastructure is more than good roads and other transportation needs it is education…. We have assets here that are untapped which could rapidly grow our struggling community.  We can be the model for change by supporting the positive leadership available to Selma” said Powell.  “I grew up in a suburb of Birmingham that people moved to for the schools.  People are moving out of Selma Because of the schools and that must be changed.”

Holland Powell has been a resident and business owner for more than 25 years.

His list of community service is long. He is past president of the Selma Dallas County University of Alabama Alumni Association, past president of the Selma Rotary Club, Captain of the Selma Quarterback Club, president of the Selma Dallas Arts Council, board member Wallace Community College Foundation, Economic Development Authority board member, Chamber of Commerce vice president, member of the first class of Leadership Selma Dallas County and a recent graduate of Leadership Alabama. He was also selected for the Air War College National Security Forum.

He is married to Carolyn Powell.  His children are Tiffany, Meghan and Mary Claire.