Selecting candidates to endorse this year for city Board of Education has been very difficult. There are nine candidates vying for five seats on the board. All are capable and energetic.
In fact, this is unquestionably one of the best field of candidates for School Board that the Johnson City Press Editorial Board has seen in many years.
As we noted in our endorsements for City Commission, these are changing times. It is particularly true in the field of education, which sees increasing student performance mandates, shrinking classroom budgets and growing concerns of school safety. One other important issue that we heard at our Community Editorial Board is the need for schools to make better use of digital technology to educate our students.
It was with that thought in mind that we make our endorsements for the Board of Education. We begin with the (two-year) unexpired term. This newspaper believes James “Jamie” Povlich Jr. would bring a fresh perspective to the board. He has been active in school and community organizations, and would bring that energy to the School Board.
Povlich also has children in the school system, which gives him a practical insight into the needs of students (as he demonstrated at our forum last week when he raised a problem some students are having just getting adequate time to eat lunch).
Like Povlich, three of our endorsements — newcomers John F. Hunter and Jonathan Kinnick, and incumbent Kathy Hall — for the four (four-year) other seats up for election on the board also have children in city schools.
And like Povlich, we are confident Hunter and Kinnick will bring fresh thoughts to the School Board. Both have shown a dedication to the community, and have unique professional skill sets that could greatly benefit the board. For example, Kinnick’s professional background could be extremely helpful in guiding the school system to meeting its digital needs.
Hall, who currently serves as chairwoman of the School Board, has shown herself to be a knowledgeable leader who has balanced the needs and concerns of teachers, parents, administrators and taxpayers. We ask voters to return her to the board.
Likewise, we believe incumbent Dick Manahan deserves another term on the board. He is an experienced board member who has proven himself to be a visionary and a practical manager of school funds.
Again, we urge voters to elect Povlich, Hall, Hunter, Manahan and Kinnick to the Johnson City Board of Education on April 23.