Metro school board candidates round up support

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Friday is the first day to go vote in the August election.

Local races will be decided August 4th.

In Davidson County, the candidates for school board have been working for months to round up support.

They made a final push for votes at a recent forum.

It’s a big year with a new director now in place and some of these races are very hot.

Starting with District 5 which covers much of East Nashville and some of downtown.

Christiane Buggs, Miranda Christy, Erica Lanier and Dr. Corey Gathings are running for that seat.

First Christiane Buggs talks about what sets her apart from the other three candidates.

“I’ve been in the classroom, as a magnet school student, as a charter teacher as a zoned teacher I’ve seen every option our families have to choose from,” says Buggs. “I know what policies are ineffective because I’ve studied them. I’ve seen what our policies do to teachers, students and parents and I know how to change them.”

Miranda Christy talks about what she’s heard so far from new Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph that goes well with her vision as a possible board member.

“He is very focused on engaging the community,” says Christy. “It’s been so impressive to see him do that even before his start date of July 1st, getting all the community engaged and involved, getting all the stakeholders to the table making sure that everyone’s voice is heard.”

And then Erica Lanier and her cry to urge District 5 to get to the polls on August 4th or earlier.

Regardless to whether or not you have a student, you’re a grandparent or you have absolutely no kids we decide by our support by putting the right people in place to make the decisions for our students whether we have the next generation of success stories or statistics,” says Lanier.

After numerous tries we weren’t able to get ahold of Dr. Corey Gathings. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring you a profile on him soon.

We also took a look at District 7 which is South and Southeast Nashville primarily the Glencliff cluster and some of the John Overton and Antioch clusters.

It’s been very heated if you’ve been following it, it’s even taken to some back and forth on social media.

Both candidates, the incumbent Will Pinkston and challenger Jackson Miller say the conflict is encouraging. It means no matter who you pick District 7 has two candidates who are very passionate about getting this job.

First Pinkston talks about one of his primary focuses while on the board and going forward if he is elected again, 43% of his students are English Language Learners.

“It’s a constant struggle for us to keep up with their needs and tend those issues,” says Pinkston. “Part of that is a resource issue and we do have new money in the budget this year to do things like language intensive after school programs to reduce class sizes in high percentage EL schools so that we can give teachers more time to work with fewer students and do it in a more intense way but we still need to keep at it year after year until we get it right.”

And Jackson Miller talks about the interesting reason why he’s challenging Will Pinkston.

“I was a student who fell through the cracks in high school and ended up leaving and getting my GED,” says Miller. “And in a city where only 4 out of 10 kids are reading on grade level the majority of students are falling through those cracks and so I’m looking at this through those eyes of how can we make sure no other kid has to feel what I felt when I was in school.”

Early voting starts today and in Davidson County you can do that at Metro’s Howard office building downtown. Check with your county election commission to find times and places.

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