Southwestern School board seats unopposed
Monday, October 29, 2012 11:00 AM
Two candidates are running unopposed for two seats on the Southwestern School Board.
Seat: Republican Township representative
Address: 8817 W. State Road 256, Lexington
Contact info: (812) 599-2443
Education: Shawe Memorial High School; Indiana University Southeast
Current employment: DNV Healthcare
Additional relevant experience: Elected to Southwestern School Board in 2008
Family members: Husband, Jeff; daughters, Courtney and Anna; sons, Logan and Jackson
Seat: Town of Hanover representative
Address: 2166 Logan's Point Drive, Hanover
Contact info: (812) 866-2890
Education: Glencliff High School, Nashville, Tenn.; Middle Tennessee State University, bachelor's degree; Eastern Kentucky University, master's degree; University of Kentucky, doctorate.
Past employment: Retired school administrator; retired from Bullitt County Schools in Kentucky; Southwestern High School principal from 1995 to 1997
Family members: Wife, Karen; son; Bradley; daughter, Blair
Jodi Gray, 40, is seeking re-election for the Republican Township seat, while Michael Hicks, 65, is running for the town of Hanover seat. Narci Burress currently holds the town of Hanover seat, but did not file for re-election.
Gray was first elected to the school board in 2008, and she said she seeks re-election to continue to create a good educational system for students.
"I feel like we have a good dynamic," Gray said of the board. "I feel like we're moving in the right direction as a group."
Hicks, a former school administrator and Southwestern High School principal, hopes his work in school operations and leadership skills will help him serve the school district. He also plans to use his knowledge of the school as a parent who had two children graduate from the school district to make decisions for both educators and students.
"It's something I'd given a lot of thought to after retiring," Hicks said.
Both candidates have goals for the district. Both noted the importance of continuing technology programs, as well looking for increases in academic achievements.
Gray hopes to keep student enrollment up and to increase them, as well as keep teachers and increase the number of staff members even during difficult economic times for schools, she said. She also hopes to increase the district's graduation rate and continue to move forward with technology programs.
"We're doing a really good job of that right now," Gray said of the technology advances.
In addition to helping Southwestern Schools provide a quality education to students, Hicks also wants to continue to see increases in test scores and help prepare students for a post-secondary education or for the workforce.
Hicks said the school's focus on technology and the interpersonal connections with teachers allow Southwestern students the basis they need to be successful in the workforce, and he hopes to see the technology programs continue in the district.
Gray has three children who attend Southwestern Schools, which she believes gives her a connection to the district that other board members might miss.
"I have some insight that others on the board don't," Gray said.
Southwestern School Board members are elected to four-year terms. The other three seats on the board - held by Kevin Brierly, Deanna Liter and Cree Green - will be up for election in two years.