Candidates woo voters

Published 12:29 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SELMA — School Board candidates here plan to promote integrity in schools.

Whether through transparency of budgets, encouraging diversity or creating a thriving educational environment through technology, candidates discussed potential manners of improvement at a forum at the Performing Arts Center on Monday night.

The election is scheduled for Oct. 27.

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Candidates for the at-large presidency and from District 3, which is made up of city council wards 3 and 8, were invited to speak at this particular forum.

District 3 candidate Dr. Margaret Hardy wants to invest in better leadership of schools and acquire better teachers. With discussion of creating magnet schools, while also potentially closing Byrd Elementary, “just remember about all the students, not just the magnet schools and those students,” Hardy said.

To promote integrity in the school system, at-large candidate Dr. Anne Fitts wants schools to “show integrity to encourage integrity,” Fitts said. “We just need communication.”

At-large candidate Ben Givan feels that diversity will become more prevalent in schools “though a well defined curriculum that’s inviting to all students,” Givan said. “But, we must talk about race.”

Kobi Little, at-large candidate,talked at length about the diversity needs of Selma schools. “We need diversity because our children need to be culturally competent,” said Little. “Set high expectations, because at every level, no matter what you do, you need to put our students first.”

All school improvements relate to the community’s ability to work with one another, said at-large candidate Henry Hicks.

“We need to work with the community to see what we can do together,” Hicks said. “If we come together and sit down at the table, there isn’t anything we can’t do. I’m most concerned about is the children.”

Before attending the forum, Dot Wilkinson read about candidates and moderately had made her decision about voting. After listening to the candidates, “maybe I’m going to think about it a little bit now,” Wilkinson said.

The next forum, sponsored by Delta Phi Lambda of Alpha Phi Alphi, will be Thursday at the Performing Arts Center at 6:30 p.m.