Election Preview | Board of Education
Below are questions The Jessamine Journal asked each candidate and these are their responses.
The Jessamine Journal received no response from Debra Lynne Hood.
Why do you want to be a Jessamine County school board member?
Amy Day: What initially led me to seek a position as a member of the Jessamine Co. School Board was an incident that happened eight years ago. In 2008, a gun was brought to my children’s school by a student in his backpack. Our district’s policy stated “expulsion.” EUGENE PEEL was the ONLY one to uphold district policy to protect our children. I hope during my 3rd term to have a resource officer in every school.
Bobby Welch: I have a vested interest to be a member of the Jessamine County School Board not only because of my children, but also as a member of the community that cares about all of our children and their current and future education and school related experiences.
Eugene Peel: I want to continue working to see that our young students get the best education in the state and nation.
What past experiences have you had with the Jessamine County school system that you feel will help you as a board member?
Amy Day: My experiences within the Jessamine County School system as a former student, parent, volunteer, homeowner, business owner, committee and board member has given me a greater insight and knowledge from various objective standpoints. Not only do I want to be an effective board member who has the integrity to stand alone, but also a person of reason and problem solving.
Bobby Welch: I am a graduate of Jessamine County High School, and have two children currently attending school in Jessamine County. Being a parent that is actively involved in my children’s education, I have been exposed first hand to their curriculum, structure of classes, opportunities, challenges, and activities in our school system. Also, over the last year I have worked on a joint venture with the athletic directors from both districts to set up a youth feeder program for East and West Jessamine Football as a Director for Jessamine Youth Football. This experience has allowed me to build relationships and hear some of the challenges and concerns from a lot of school employees, teachers, volunteers, coaches, parents, and student athletes from every school in our county.
Eugene Peel: Since being elected as a board member I have worked hard with other members to provide the best education and facilities we can afford.
What do you feel are among the biggest issues the school district faces this year?
Amy Day: I believe the most difficult issues our district faces are 1) the ever decreasing federal and state funding 2) the ever increasing unfunded mandates that our local district has had to pick up the tab 3) Low Income level of many of our families 4) Drug epidemic
Bobby Welch: In my opinion, each year the biggest issues faced are advancing our policies, practices, curriculum, etc without posing a greater burden on the taxpayers, parents that are just making ends meet, and/or anyone that struggles to give their child the education they deserve. To do so is a great accomplishment.
Eugene Peel: As a board we work very hard to put our money where it will be used to support teachers in what they do for students. The state continues to cut back on the support it gives the local districts. This makes it very hard for local boards to furnish teachers the support they desperately need.
How do you plan to deal with this issue during your term?
Amy Day: These are very real , very disheartening realities in our county. We, however, are extremely fortunate to have great working relationships and such amazing support from Senator Tom Buford and House Representative Kim King, community representatives and church leaders. Our school district leaders and community leaders are working together for a better future for Jessamine County families.
Bobby Welch: I think before I can answer that, I would have to look at each item of concern on a case by case basis. A blanket answer or plan doesn’t always cover all bases.
Eugene Peel: Plan on contacting and working with our Legislators to regain the states full support to our school districts.
Was there anything done this year that you would like to see handled differently by the next school board?
Amy Day: I can’t think of anything that happened this year that I feel should be handled differently by the next school board.
Bobby Welch: I don’t yet know that it is possible to handle certain items differently, however I know there are and have been parent and community concerns over things such as the location of graduations and who can attend as well as policies that people are unhappy with. These complaints are mostly concerning curriculum, school functions, activities, and athletics. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about possible adjustments to such items.
Eugene Peel: No! I feel through our Superintendent Kathy Fields, we have a good plan to take our schools to the next level, Distinguished.
When it comes to the budget what are your priorities?
Amy Day: My first priority regarding the budget is TRANSPARENCY. An accurate account of general fund revenue expectations including detailed additional and reduced expenditures.
Bobby Welch: As with anything you manage, I think it takes balance of investment to payback. What are our teachers, students, staff/administration getting from the money spent? I would have to ask myself (again on a case by case scenario) are there opportunities to improve the well-being of all of our children, staff, etc?
Eugene Peel: That’s very simple, using every tax dollar that our Jessamine Co. Citizens provide us, with the best education we can give our students.
Do you see yourself more so as a representative of the school system or a representative of the community?
Amy Day: I would have to say that I feel I equally represent both the school system and the community.
Bobby Welch: I find it difficult to categorize myself as more of either. In my opinion they are one in the same. Representing the school system is representing our community.
Eugene Peel: Both. I think I represent our students as their voice, and held accountable by the citizens of Jessamine Co. to get the most out of tax dollars. I would like to THANK them for their support to the young people of this community.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate to be a member of the school board?
Amy Day did not answer this question because she is running unopposed.
Bobby Welch: Honestly, I think my opponent in this race is an honorable gentleman that has served the school system in Jessamine County very well for many years. Mr. Peel, if I remember correctly, was the person that handed me my diploma a little over 20 years ago.
With that said however, I think it is time for others to get involved and serve in these type positions for our community and our schools. I believe that I will be able to bring new ideas and new perspective to our school board to help all of our children get the best educational experience possible and exit our system ready to be productive members of our society. I am truly invested in making Jessamine County Schools, “Great by Choice!”
Eugene Peel: I would like to thank the people of Jessamine County for letting me be a part of this school system. It’s been an honor to serve you for the past 32 years and for continued support.