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Meet your candidates… Incumbent Isaacs seeking re-election to Elizabethton Board of Education

BY IVAN SANDERS

STAR STAFF

ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com 

Beginning today, the Elizabethton Star will be publishing information on the candidates for the Elizabethton Board of Education.

There are three open seats for the 2020 election as Chairwoman Rita Booher and Dr. Grover May have elected not to seek re-election while incumbent Phil Isaacs will be running to maintain his seat.

Isaacs leads off the first session of meeting your candidates by answering five questions that were asked of all school board candidates.

Here are Isaacs’s response to those questions.

Please give a short bio (family, education, work experience, any other pertinent info you feel important).

I am a graduate of Elizabethton High School and the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. I have worked in both the public and private sectors with a 25-year career at the Elizabethton Electric System.

I currently work in electric supply sales. I have served on several boards and committees in our community.

Currently, I serve as the Vice Chairman of the Elizabethton City School Board and Chairman of the Carter County Industrial Development Board. Additionally, I am a former member of the Carter County Election Commission.

I am married to Regina Ellis Isaacs and together we have two daughters Miranda and Chelsie Isaacs. Regina and both of my daughters graduated from Elizabethton High School.

I am the son of the late Raymond and Elsie Isaacs. My father was a former member of the Elizabethton City School Board.

Why did you decide to run for the Elizabethton City School Board and why do you feel qualified to do so?

I decided to run for school board eight years ago when both of my daughters were in high school. I saw a need for strong leadership, and I desired to serve my community.

Both of my daughters received an exceptional education in the Elizabethton City School System that helped them pursue higher education and professional careers.

My goal as a member of the Elizabethton City School Board is to see that every child and family has the same positive experience that my family did.

I have been on the school board for two terms, and I believe my presence has positively influenced our school system. My first-hand experience and desire to serve our community will drive me to approach every issue fully informed and with the best interest of our students, families, faculty, and staff in mind.

What do you think are the most important issues facing the Elizabethton School System and how would you suggest addressing them?

Over the last several years we have made many improvements to the infrastructure in our school system. However, we need to continue these efforts to ensure our students, faculty, and staff have a safe, clean, and accessible learning and teaching environment.

Working with the city council has been, and will be, invaluable in continuing to improve our school infrastructure.

By utilizing the half-cent sales tax, we have been able to complete several capital projects. Currently, we are working on updating the bathrooms and installing a new roof at the T.A. Dugger campus.

Additionally, we are working on updating the entrances to several schools to promote safety. I believe we should continue these efforts by working closely with the city council to do so.

What strong points do you feel need to continue in the school system?

Our city school system continues to prove its excellence in academics, fines arts, technical education, and athletics.

The Elizabethton City School System has received several accolades for our achievements. This includes awards at both the state and federal levels recognizing the work of our students, faculty, and school system.

Our students and faculty have proved to be incredibly innovative in pursuing new opportunities in education and professional development. These efforts have resulted in exciting opportunities for our school system, like participating in nationally recognized programs. The school board should continue to support our teachers and students in these innovative and creative pursuits.

Do you feel that the pandemic has negatively impacted the school system and what would you bring to the board in helping to overcome those issues if elected?

The pandemic has proved difficult for school systems everywhere. Our school system is not immune to these concerns.

Since the pandemic started, I have been serving on the school board and have seen the issues and the strain it has put on our students, faculty, and staff first-hand.

Our biggest concern during these times is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and their families. It is the school board’s duty to monitor and recognize the needs of our school community. The health and welfare of our community and our schools is of utmost importance.

During these challenging times, the school board has worked closely with the administrative staff and the Carter County Health Department to mitigate these concerns.

We have made every effort to gradually and systematically get our kids back in the classroom while also offering the option for students to participate virtually.

I would like to thank all of the families and teachers in our community for their patience and support during these unprecedented times. I would also like to thank our support staff like our custodians and nutrition workers for diligently cleaning our facilities and continuing to feed our children.

It is the school board’s responsibility to ensure you all have the resources necessary to weather this pandemic. I hope to continue to support each and every one of you.