School Board District 2 Race Preview
The race pits two women, both with years of experience in education and their challenge is to distinguish themselves among voters.
"I taught for almost 30 years, 29 plus years and in those years I had all levels of students," said Alachua County School Board Incumbent Candidate Eileen Roy.
"I am a special educator," said Alachua County School Board Candidate Jeannine Cawthon. "I do have a special needs child so I am very familiar with parents with special needs children."
While both hail from District 2, it's the entire county that can vote. Both are counting on parents to play a big role in education with the decline in budgets.
"The most important thing I think is for the parents to encourage the legislators to be more responsible in their funding of education," said Cawthon. "It seems not to be a high priority among some state and federal officials."
This is a platform her opponent agrees with.
"That's job number one if I'm re-elected, I will be up there often," said Roy.
Roy, who has held the seat for four years, made the trip with the Superintendent and Alachua County Teachers' Union President in the spring to make the plea to legislators. Her agenda doesn't end with asking the state for more money.
"We need to conserve energy which is an easy place to find extra money," said Roy.
But, Cawthon says she's no stranger to dealing with austere school budgets.
"When I started from 2000 to 2004, there were state cut backs which we had to deal with and we're having a repeat," said Cawthon. "Of that is only worse this time."
Both say their commitment is to the education of children in Alachua County, and will rely on their experience to set the tone for what their voters want.
"I am a great believer in transparency and openness, and I have done my best to pay open those doors so that we have an idea of what's really going on," said Roy.
"I've worked in every school in the county in some capacity or other," said Cawthon.
School board elections are August 26th, and all Alachua county residents can vote for the school board member seats. They are at-large positions so you don't have to live in District 2.
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