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Candidates seekseats on Ironton board

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series covering the candidates for four seats on the Ironton Board of Education.

Monday, October 04, 1999

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series covering the candidates for four seats on the Ironton Board of Education. The candidates are listed in no particular order. This is also the second installment of The Ironton Tribune’s series of articles previewing all the November races. Tuesday, The Tribune will feature the Ironton mayoral race.

Ironton area residents will have a number of choices this November as they decide who will lead their children into the new millennium.

Thirteen candidates are seeking four seats on the Ironton Board of Education. Each of the candidates says he or she has something different to bring to the city’s educational system.

With two children in Ironton schools, Richard Price thought it was his civic duty to run for board of education.

&uot;I feel that citizens must express themselves in an area that’s nearest and dearest to their own interests,&uot; Price said. &uot;I truly believe I can make a difference in our school’s educational system.&uot;

Although never an elected public official, Price said he has been involved with Ironton’s youths through coaching for many years.

And he would like to continue to help the area’s students by instituting some much needed policies, he said.

&uot;I think, for one thing, I would like to ensure the safety of these students, teachers and administrators in our school system,&uot; Price said. &uot;I also would like to ensure that each student has an opportunity to acquire the best education possible, and I also would like to develop avenues for more parental involvement in our school system.&uot;

Also involved in youth athletics, Cecil Townsend has his own ideas about how he would improve the Ironton City School system if elected.

&uot;I would like to see the test scores improve,&uot; Townsend said. &uot;And I would like to see the present buildings upgraded. There are new schools being built all around us, but not in Ironton. There is a possibility, though.&uot;

Randy Taylor is taking a more cautious look at the new school project Ironton might be offered in a few years, however.

&uot;I’d like to check into that and see how much it would cost to refurbish the old schools,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;If it would be cheaper to go that route, I think it would be better to go that route than do away with what we have. Of course, I do realize that we have outdated buildings, and I know they need a lot of work.&uot;

And work is something with which fellow candidate Robert Pleasant is familiar.

President of Operation: Be Proud Inc., and youth coordinator for the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization Job Training Partnership Act program, Pleasant has worked with area children for many years.

And he decided to take that commitment one step further by filing for the city school board election this year.

&uot;I believe one of the biggest areas we need to focus on is education,&uot; Pleasant said. &uot;I think it’s important for our school system and our community to be involved in educating our youth. There comes a time when change is needed. And to move forward, you have to get involved.&uot;

To accomplish these changes, Pleasant has an agenda of his own.

&uot;A few things I see that I would like to address are No. 1, I’m concerned about the proficiency test scores,&uot; he said. &uot;I would like to concentrate on working with the teachers and staff to find innovative ways to increase our testing scores. I would also look at the relationship of the school board with the community and teaching staff to create a system of mutual respect. And last, but not least, I would look at the hiring practices. I feel it’s important in any institution that serves the public that they have an equal hiring practice. That’s something I would like to see more of in our community.&uot;

Donald Lewis, another candidate for Ironton Board of Education member, could not be reached to comment on his efforts to seek the public office.

Other candidates include Kathy McGinnis, William Hannon, Kathy Kratzenburg, Paul Kuehne, James Holt III, Mark Near, Gary Neal and Maria Oakes.

Their comments appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Ironton Tribune.