Endorsement of school board candidates

Published 7:43 pm Monday, October 26, 2009

Today voters go to the polls to elect a school board member from their respective districts and a president to lead the board. This is the first time Selma voters will have the opportunity to have a say in who leads public education in this city and we believe this Democratic process vital to the future health of the school system.

There are four districts made up of combining two city wards each. Each ballot will have the school board candidates listed by district. We have attended the forums, listened intently to what candidates have said and published information on each as it was made available to us. Doing such gives the editorial board of the newspaper keen perspective on the candidates, their qualifications and their ability to communicate with the public. Therefore the editorial board of The Selma Times-Journal offers its endorsements for today’s school board election, by district.

District 1: Holland Powell. The school system is about to undertake a massive high school building program. Financing is a key element to this project. At the same time, schools all over the state are faced with proration. Powell has run a successful business in Selma for more than 25 years. He knows finance and would be an experienced, financial management voice to the board.

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District 2: Kimesha “Sunshine” Alvarado. Alvarado has a child in the school system. She is in touch with the people of her district and she has the time to devote to school system needs. Her background in the military and her successful work to lift her community up indicates she knows how to work with others to accomplish goals.

District 3: David Cothran. Cothran has built a career in finance. His voice would be a strong one in matters of stewardship. Additionally, Cothran has children in the public school system. He cares about the children in the system. He will be a strong team member and is an advocate for diversification in the school system, something that is badly needed.

District 4: Dr. Udo F. Ufomadu. His background in business and his two years on the appointed school board will give the elected board historical perspective, which is often needed. Ufomadu has opted not to take center stage at school board meetings, but when he speaks other board members listen to his reasoning.

Additionally, all registered voters will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for president of the school board. Our recommendation to you: Dr. Anne Fitts. Dr. Fitts serves on the appointed school board. Her calm, but firm countenance would allow other school board members to agree to disagree without acting out in public. She is goal-oriented, which means she will be able to keep the board focused on its goals, which could only lead to school improvement. Although she has no children in the school, when they attended school in Selma, her children went to public schools.