Two candidates are seeking the Byran County Board of Education District 1 seat:
Name: Paine Bacon
Address: P.O. Box 221, Pembroke, GA 31321; firstname.lastname@example.org; (912) 844-0562
Family: Wife, Toni Nelson Bacon – counselor at Bryan County Middle School, 20 years experience in education; stepdaughter, Lauren Martin – student at Bryan County High School, lifeguard at the Pembroke Community Center, Beta Club, Bryan County High cheerleader, member of tennis team and FFA and cheerleader at CheerSouth.
Seat seeking: Bryan County Board of Education – District 1
Work experience: Certified public accountant licensed in Georgia and South Carolina, manager at Holland, Henry & Bromley LLP in Savannah.
Education: Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in accounting from Georgia Southern University, graduated cum laude; Masters of Accounting from Georgia Southern University, graduated cum laude.
Civic activities: Elder at Pembroke Christian Church; former chairman of the board of Pembroke Christian Church; treasurer and chairman of the Finance Committee at Park Place Outreach, d/b/a the Savannah Runaway Home; board member of the Emerging Leaders Council of the Savannah Community Foundation; participated in the Advisory Council of the School of Accountancy at Georgia Southern University; member of the Savannah Chapter of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants; member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; volunteer at Bryan County Middle School where I have participated in Career Day and faculty-student basketball game, and have worked concessions at sporting events.
Political experience: This is my first time running for political office. However, my father and other family members have held various political offices in Bryan County, such as county commissioner and superintendent of schools.
Why are you running for office? I have a strong interest in the welfare of the Bryan County Schools system. I am a life-long resident of District 1 and of Bryan County. I want to ensure that the children of this community have the opportunity to be successful in life and there is no greater gift than a quality education. When I learned of Mary Warnell’s intention not to run for re-election, I knew this was an opportunity for me to give back and to help in the community that I grew up in and love so dearly.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position? I have the point of view from both my wife, an educator, and of my stepdaughter, a student. I have been fortunate to have obtained two college degrees, and I appreciate how valuable a quality education can be. I have extensive experience in governmental finance through my profession as a CPA. I believe that I can bring this knowledge and experience to the board and can help in budgeting and long-term financial planning for the school system.
I have lived in this community all of my life and I care about the people here. I am honest and dependable. I am easily approachable and will listen to everyone’s concerns. I have served on the boards of several local nonprofits and I have handled difficult situations with a calm demeanor. I will be a voice on the board of education for those in my district and of all of Bryan County.
What do you see in the way of immediate needs and future needs for the school system? If elected, how do you plan to take on these issues? In these trying economic times, there is a delicate balance between decreased revenue and keeping property taxes at a low level. Over the next couple of years, there will be a decrease in federal stimulus funds available to our school system. I will strive to work with the budget to keep tax levels low while improving education.
I feel that there needs to be more vocational training available to the children of Bryan County. If elected, I will explore all options available to work toward this long-term goal.
The current board has a long-term plan in place for replacement and expansion of facilities. Richmond Hill Middle School is under current construction and Bryan County Elementary School will be replaced in the near future. I will make sure that our students have state of the art facilities available while being sensitive to future debt burdens being placed on taxpayers.
Name: Mindy Boyette
Address: P.O. Box 1746 Pembroke Ga. 31321; 912-653-4225; email@example.com.
Family: Husband, Paul; kids, Jeb, 11, Jensen, 6, and Emme Jane, 4.
Seat seeking: Bryan County Board of Education District 1
Work experience: Advertising sales manager, MorrisMultiMedia; prior to that Bryan County Board of Education, substitute teacher; prior to that director of public relations, Pembroke Telephone Co.; prior to that Downtown Programs coordinator, the City of Pembroke.
Education: 1991 Calaveras High School, San Andreas Calif.; 1997 Trinity College, Washington D.C. – communication arts; 2002 Dale Carnegie – leadership and public speaking; 2003 University of Georgia – Master Gardner; 2004 Leadership Georgia- Bryan County.
Civic activities: I currently volunteer on the Hendrix Park Recreation Association Board. I chair the HYRA Focus Committee, co-chair the Soccer Committee and serve on the Finance and Scholarship Committees. At the recreation facility, I oversee fundraising, public relations, future projects and special events. I have helped bring corporate funds and sponsorship to the park and developed the park’s website, hendrixpark.org. I am the co-founder of the extremely popular youth soccer program in the North Bryan community. I have coached soccer for the fall and winter seasons for three years now.
During my tenure on HYRA, I helped start a scholarship fund. This past May the association awarded three $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from BCHS.
I have also partnered with the Coastal Health District on nutrition incentives to provide healthier snack options at the park. This spring I was elected by the parents of students at Bryan County Middle School to serve as the parent representative to the BCMS Advisory Council for the 2010-2011 school year.
During my years of volunteering in the community, I co-founded the North Bryan Relay for Life as the chair of the event for the first three years. I founded the Pembroke Balloon Festival and have volunteered at a host of other events, fundraisers and charity drives. I have spent over 10 years volunteering in the schools in North Bryan County. I even worked as a substitute teacher for a year, in order to have a better understanding of the schools from the inside. I am a member of the North Bryan Chamber of Commerce.
Political experience: none.
Why are you running for office? I am involved in our community. I work hard and volunteer in the schools, recreation associations and other community organizations in North Bryan. This spring I was nominated and elected by the parents of Bryan County Middle School to serve as the Parent Representative of the BCMS School Advisory Council. I am the right choice for North Bryan.
I feel I have the experience and knowledge to help maintain the level of excellence our schools are known for. In this tough economy, smart decisions need to be made in order for our schools to continue to thrive. We need to support our teachers, be involved in our schools and believe in our children. These are beliefs that I will stand by and will bring to the board. Many parents and community members have asked me to run. I am a mother. I have a vested interested in our schools. Our family owns a local business. I have a vested interest in the community.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position? We have been blessed with great schools in Bryan County. I want to help maintain that and build our community. We are educating Bryan County’s future leaders. As a parent, I want what is best for all kids. I have a background in government. I worked for the United States Congress and the city of Pembroke. I have been actively involved as a volunteer and a substitute teacher in our schools. I am the most qualified candidate for this position because I have been involved with the schools as a volunteer for over 10 years now. I also volunteer in the community as a coach, mentor and organizer to help our youth stay active and learn new life skills. My involvement has helped me build strong relationships with other parents, teachers and the administrators. I already have an open line of communication with school officials. I have a strong background in thinking outside the box, fundraising and grant writing. All three of those skills will be needed to help our schools in this tough economy.
I believe that schools should be parent, teacher and student friendly. I will work hard to be sure that they are. Our schools should welcome volunteerism and embrace local talents. I know it is important to listen to constituents, research issues and be a voice for the people of northern Bryan County. As a parent, I want what is best for all children. As a taxpayer I want what is responsible for our wallets, and as a citizen I will work hard for everyone I represent.
What do you see in the way of immediate needs and future needs for the school system? If elected, how do you plan to take on those issues? In this economy we need to be sure our graduates are ready for college or success in the working world. Bryan County Schools and the community need to look at all options to partner with work ready, career mentoring and workforce development programs. We need to prepare young adults to enter the workforce and be a success. This will strengthen our community and build our economy. We want every child to strive for greatness. For some that is college, for some it is technical school and for some it is apprenticeships. We have a great industrial park right here in our backyard. If students graduate work ready with a trade or certification, it will strengthen our local economy.
We need to find other sources to fund our programs for our kids. Taxpayers’ wallets are already tapped out. We need to form corporate partnerships, organize nonprofit fundraising and look for grant money in niche programs. I have experience with all of these.
The 1st district needs a representative that will be a voice for our community, someone that will be vocal of our needs and stand up for our students and teachers.