A forum for the 2nd District school board seat was held last night up in Fountain City. Here are a couple observations from the evening:
- No clear winner emerged. Yeah, forums aren’t exactly set up to declare winners, but usually one can tell who pulls ahead. Last night, most of the folks who spoke looked liked they belonged up there.
- Not many members of the public came. Probably about 50 people, most of them with a direct reason to be there, were present. Nearly all of Knox County Commission was there, and a few incoming commissioners too. Counting them, the applicants and the staff who pulled the forum off and you’re pretty close to 20 folks already.
- Here’s your group that showed up for the 2nd District: Juanita Cannon, a retired Knox County Schools teacher and principal; Charlotte K. Dorsey, retired Knox County Schools administrator; John N. Fugate, vice president with Commercial Bank in Fountain City; Diana Ray, former community development manager with the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians; Jennifer Searle, board member with Knox County Schools Clothing Center PTA and volunteer; Rick Staples, a former Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy who oversaw inmate rehabilitation programs.
- Ray and Searle both have children in public schools. Staples ran for office against Nick Della Volpe for city council last year – and nearly won. Dorsey and Cannon both used to work in Knox County Schools.
- All of them said they weren’t interested in running for the November election, with the exception being Staples, who was undecided.
- Generally, Fugate and Ray appeared supportive of charter schools or need more information about how they are working (it’s too soon to tell), Cannon and Doresey said they robbed resources from public schools Searle, but also advised a watch-and-see approach, and Staples said he would’ve voted against Emerald Academy.
- Some folks out in the rumorsphere are saying that pro-McIntyre and anti-McIntyre camps have put up applicants for the 2nd District seat. The veracity of those rumors has not been substantiated.