Arlington Community School Board Candidates

Election Featured PhotoLast month, The View 38002 contacted the candidates running in contested races for municipal office in Arlington and Lakeland. In each race, each candidate was sent the same questions and instructions. The election will be held on Thursday, September 17.

School Board Member Kay Williams is running unopposed for Position 4 (Williams serves as Chair of the Arlington Community Schools Boards, but that position is elected by the members of the school board, not the general public). One candidate, Robert Elliott, Sr. did not respond to multiple invitations to participate.

Participating candidates were given a 350-word limit for their responses. The responses printed here are unedited, except for formatting that does not change the content or intent of the answer. The responses are grouped alphabetically by position and separated by municipality, as that is the way that they will appear on the ballot.

An Electoral Candidate Forum for the Alderman and School Board Candidates will be held on Thursday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Arlington High School. This event is hosted by the Northeast Shelby County Republicans.

Position 2

Robert Elliott, Sr.

Robert Elliott, Sr. did not respond to multiple invitations to participate in this Q&A.

Position 2

Barbara Fletcher

Career/Occupation: Realtor; Former Principal

Contact Info: Facebook: Barbara Fletcher for Arlington School Board

Why are you running for office?

I have 16 years of educational administration experience. Mayor Wissman appointed me in 2012 to the transition committee that planned our school system and I was subsequently elected to the school board. The next three years will bring tremendous changes as Common Core standards are discontinued and the new state standards, with a new curriculum and testing protocols, are implemented. Lakeland’s decisions about their school system will necessarily affect ACS. I am running because with these challenges, continuity of leadership on the school board is essential.

How many meetings of the board have you attended in the past year? Have you voted in every election in the past five years?

I attended 26 board meetings last year.  I voted in all last five elections.

Arlington currently relies on an Interlocal Agreement with Lakeland and recruitment of non-resident students to maintain its past level of student enrollment, curriculum offered, and staffing levels. Where do you see the Arlington in five years in terms of programs offered, existing Inter-Local Agreements, and qualities that will differentiate Arlington from other municipal school districts? What specific steps are you going to take to achieve the five year end state you described?

ACS continues to expand our academic, athletic, and extra-curricular offerings. The STEM program is coming to ACS, with implementation beginning this year in grades 4&5 in elementary schools, grade 6 in middle school, and grade 9 in high school.  Foreign language and a 1:1 technology initiative will expand this year.

ACS Honors and AP courses will continue, as well as extensive vocational educational opportunities.

Arlington’s community wrestling program gets ACS official recognition this year and I look forward to Coach McKee’s girls lacrosse program having the same. I am particularly proud of our band programs under the leadership of Mr. Hughes. Arlington’s football, baseball, basketball and cheer programs are championship caliber.

Our goal is to produce lifetime learners and good citizens. ACS had a remarkable first year, and we will improve.

ACS is among the highest rated public systems in Tennessee. AHS is in the top three percent of high schools, AMS is top ten percent, and both our elementary schools have State Reward status. No other community can boast that. This uniform level of excellence differentiates ACS from other systems.

The Inter-Local with Lakeland has six years remaining, but Lakeland can give us three years notice and cancel. The future of that Inter-Local Agreement rests with Lakeland.

The specific steps I will take reflect those already taken.  I will continue to support our Superintendent, her staff, and our teachers, and I will continue to be a good steward of the public’s money.

What would be the first thing you would do if elected?

Go back to work for our children.


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