Although two of her sons, who graduated from Richmond Hill High School, went to college and a third son, who is a RHHS student now, also plans on going to college, Pauline Phifer is running for the Bryan County Schools Board of Education for the students who don’t want to or cannot go to college.
“Not every student is meant for college,” she said. “It might be grades or the means or interest, but we shouldn’t treat every student as if they’re going on to a four-year school.”
Phifer is running against incumbent Dennis Seger in the May 24 primary for the District 2 seat.
“I think we need to put more emphasis on skilled trades so that students can graduate from our schools and then live and work here,” she said. “We need electricians and welders and mechanics, and those jobs pay well.”
Phifer, a real estate agent, currently serves on a citizen advisory panel for Bryan County Schools and said she wants to be more active.
“I live to volunteer and give back,” she said. “I want to represent the students, parents and teachers. It’s a challenge I can take on.”
Phifer said if elected she would also focus on teacher retention.
“I think we’ve lost some good teachers to other districts,” she said. “Our teachers need to feel empowered and rewarded. If they are happy in their jobs they will teach well and our students will benefit.”
Phifer also said she would like to review the discipline policies in the district to make sure students are being treated fairly.
“Certainly we need zero tolerance on things like bully or discrimination,” she said. “But there are some gray areas. We need to make sure that not every student who makes a bad choice gets to be known as a troublemaker. We need to look at each situation individually.”