PRATTVILLE — Two candidates are in the running for the Republican nomination for the Autauga County Board of Education’s District 2 post in Tuesday’s runoff.
Kim Crockett came in first in the four-person race in the primary, but did not capture the required 50% plus one to forego the runoff. Wayne Lambert took second. Incumbent Jim Manderson came in third.
Crockett has a background in education.
“After volunteering thousands of hours in the schools of District 2, I was encouraged by a mentor to consider a run for the board,” she said. “I started attending all of the local school board meetings, where I discovered a disconnect between the board and the classroom.
“Having classroom experience as a teacher, a mom, and a volunteer, I believe I have a unique perspective that is desperately needed on our board.”
Lambert is a product of the local schools and has had children and now grandchildren go through the schools.
“I decided to run for the school board because I have a vested interest in our educational system, as well as our county,” he said “I have had family attending and working in the school system for the past 35 years, and I will bring an enormous amount of perspective and experience. As a grandfather of five that are currently in the county school system, I want to ensure that my grandchildren and all students have the best educational opportunities to allow them to pursue higher education learning, trade certification or be employable in our society upon their graduation.
“I am committed to securing and responsibly executing the necessary resources to benefit our children and make sure they are career and college ready.”
His business background makes him qualified to serve, he said.
“I am a retired chief financial officer with over 43 years of fiscal experience,” Lambert said. “Now more than ever, it is essential that we understand how the economy and business world impact our funding.
“Make no mistake, the Autauga County school system is a business and is the second largest employer in our county. I want to leverage my business skills to acquire the necessary resources for our schools. A healthy school system translates into a health community.”
Crockett says she knows the schools
“I have a bachelor’s degree in education and years of classroom teaching experience,” she said “When I became a mom, I decided to devote my time to serving my children’s schools.
“As a result, I have ‘boots on the ground’ experience in half of Autauga County schools, including every school physically located in District 2. This is why my candidacy and my message has resonated with so many other parents and teachers. They know me. They’ve seen me work. They trust me.”
A major issue facing the future board members is funding. In November voters in and around Prattville will decide on a 15-mill property tax hike for education. The money will go to capital projects.
The tax would be levied in Prattville and areas just outside the city limits that are in attendance zones for schools in Prattville.
The 15 mills, if passed, would bring local education funding to 25 mills. The increase would add an additional $140 to $160 a year in property taxes on a home valued at $100,000.
“I support the opportunity for each citizen to choose whether or not they want additional funding for their schools, rather than those decisions being made for them by politicians,” Crocket said. “Now that we have the opportunity to choose, each family should decide what’s best for them and vote accordingly.
“If new funds are made available, rest assured that I will do everything in my power as a Board Member to spend them wisely and transparently.”
Lambert supports the tax increase.
“What’s most important is that our students have the necessary resources to give them the greatest opportunities to be successful,” he said. ” I do support the property tax increase to help our schools move forward with new facilities and renovations, which ultimately helps our students.
“The board must balance the needs of the County and make sure these funds are appropriately allocated. I know my accounting business background would be beneficial to assure taxpayer dollars are used appropriately and responsibly.”
There are no Democratic candidates qualified to run for the position.
- Party: Republican
- Professional: Former lead instructor with Hand in Hand, an early intervention program associated with United Cerebral Palsy. Former curriculum director at Weatherly Learning Center.
- Political experience: This is her first campaign
- Education: Bachelors degree in early childhood education from Freed-Hardeman University.
- Party: Republican
- Professional: Former chief financial officer at Moore Company Realty . He has also worked at Blount International and Colonial Bancgroup. Currently works as a consultant.
- Political experience: This is his first campaign
- Education: Bachelors degree in accounting from Auburn University and masters of business administration from Auburn Montgomery.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Marty Roney at firstname.lastname@example.org.