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Meet your candidate… Safety important issue for Wilson in a run for school board

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Elizabethton Star has been running articles on the five candidates running for the Elizabethton Board of Education.

Today, the last of the five candidates in the running for three seats to be filled answers questions that were presented to all the other candidates as Mike “Coach” Wilson concludes this series.

Please give a short bio (family, education, work experience, any other pertinent info you feel important).
I have been married to my wife, Lori Lyons Wilson, for over 25 years. We have three sons – Stephen, Eric, and Nicholas. My first five years of teaching were at Colonial Heights Middle School where I taught History and coached girls basketball and track.

I also taught at Vance Junior High in Bristol. The following year I was hired in the Elizabethton City School system where I taught History and coached basketball and track.

I eventually became the Athletic Director at EHS. I have lived in Elizabethton longer than anywhere else in my life.

I have a long history of education and I love this town. I believe that my experience of teaching, coaching, and administration have prepared me for this position.

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

I am running for school board because I feel we need a change and because I feel I can be an effective member of the board.

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

Obviously, the most challenging issue is how to best educate our children while keeping them safe. Threats to the well being of our children are not just related to the virus we are currently facing.

We must follow the science and make the best decisions we can with the facts we are facing.

As a parent of a young man in our school system, I understand the importance of children getting a great education, however, the most important thing is the safety of the children.

Financial concerns are also very important. We must use our resources wisely and cut ineffective expenses as we find them.

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

We must continue to recruit great teachers. We are blessed to have so many outstanding educators in our system. Teachers make all the difference in the world.

There is nothing more important to the education of our children than recruiting and hiring great teachers.

All the technology in the world is great, but nothing is better than great teachers dedicated to their jobs.

I believe in local leadership. We need administrators and teachers who love our town and care about our children.

We must focus on preparing children for college and technical training as well. I am convinced that we must prepare students for college or for more advanced technical training.

We must continue to find great teachers for students whether they are pursuing further education at a university or advanced technical training at an institution such as TCAT here in Carter County.

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 negatively impacted almost every phase of our lives, not just education.

I believe my experience of over thirty years as an educator will serve me well in attempting to deal with this tragedy. That does not mean that I have all the answers.

In fact, no one knows just now to deal with this problem. I do however feel strongly that we must follow the advice of the scientists in this matter.

We must follow the guidelines that the doctor’s layout for us. I know that our doctors are scientists and they are the people we must listen to and base our decisions on how to deal with this pandemic.