published Friday, April 27th, 2012

Signal Mountain: District 2 school board race has write-in candidate

Mike Harvey, an anesthetist at Erlanger Health System, has launched a write-in campaign for the Hamilton County Board of Education District 2 seat in response to a recent drinking scandal among teachers and students at Signal Mountain Middle-High School.

Board member Chip Baker is giving up his seat after this year.

Currently, Signal Mountain dentist Jonathan Welch is the only candidate on the ballot for the August election.

Harvey’s wife said he had considered running for school board in the past. But several people approached him and asked him to run after seven staff members at Signal Mountain Middle-High were suspended for drinking alcohol on a senior trip.

Welch’s wife, LeAnn Welch, was one of two counselors suspended for the remainder of the school year after being caught with alcohol at school. The other five staff members received two-week suspensions.

“It is my desire to see our public schools provide the best resources and environment conducive for educating every student,” Harvey said in a statement. “Our schools need strong, consistent leadership and staff. Our students need good role models. There are some deficiencies in our schools in this district, and I will work to correct these. Our children deserve positive and stable leadership to forward them educationally.”

As the news about the staff discipline broke on Monday, Welch said the incident didn’t change his desire to serve on the board.

“I think they all made mistakes, and the superintendent’s apparently dealt with it,” he said Monday.

Harvey, a longtime Signal Mountain resident, is a graduate of Red Bank High School, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Erlanger School of Anesthesia.

He’s practiced at the hospital for 30 years. He and his wife Yvonne have two teenage sons, Cody and Taylor.

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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