11 apply for District 3 seat on Hamilton County school board

11 apply for District 3 seat on Hamilton County school board

March 18th, 2012 by Kevin Hardy and Ansley Haman in News

Document: Candidates' Resumes and Letters of Intent


What: Public forum for District 3 school board applicants

When: 6-8 p.m. March 22

Where: Hixson Middle School


Mendi Catlett

• Job: Hairstylist

• Education: Edmonson Junior College, 1991; Hixson High School, 1990

David Lawrence Cowan

• Job: Retired administrator from Hamilton County Schools, part-time graduation coach at Lookout Valley Middle-High School

• Education: Master of education in administration and supervision, Tennessee Technological University; B.S. in secondary education biology, Middle Tennessee State University

Charles Leslie Elliott

• Job: Licensed agent at Alder & Cox Insurance Inc.

• Education: Master of education in administration and supervision, Middle Tennessee State University; B.S., Tennessee Wesleyan College

James S. Goebel

• Job: Branding and marketing specialist at Cumulus Media (Talk Radio 102.3, News Radio 1150)

• Education: Media technology student at Chattanooga State Community College since 2009; Hixson High School, 1992

Mary B. Lewis

• Job: Tennessee academic specialist, Public Consulting Group

• Education: Doctor of education, University of Alabama; educational specialist, University of Alabama; M.S., Covington Theological Seminary and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; B.S., University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Greg Martin

• Job: Family service manager, Lakewood Memory Gardens

• Education: B.A., Bryan College, 1985; master of divinity, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1987; doctor of divinity, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1993

Laurie Shipley

• Job: Retirement plan specialist, Barnett & Co. Investment Counsel

• Education: B.A., business administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Joe Smith

• Job: Certified substance abuse counselor and reality therapist, YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga

• Education: UT, marketing, 1974; Chattanooga State, P&C Insurance, 1981

Ken Smith

• Job: Chief information officer, The Johnson Group

• Education: Management of information systems, UTC, 1994

Joy Ward

• Job: Retired teacher and business owner

• Education: B.S., UTC; M.S., Trevecca College

Tammy Bishop Zumbrun

• Job: Community relations specialist, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union

• Education: B.S., business marketing management, UTC, 1983

Retiring Hamilton County school board member Everett Fairchild was honored Thursday night, and by Friday the process of replacing him was under way.

The Hamilton County Commission had received 11 applications by late Friday. Commissioners will appoint someone to represent District 3 for the remainder of Fairchild's term, which ends in 2014.

Wearing a red boutonniere, Fairchild sat for his final Hamilton County Board of Education meeting Thursday night following a reception in his honor. Superintendent Rick Smith presented him with a plaque thanking him for his years of service to schools.

Fairchild began teaching in 1951 at Dickinson Junior High and was principal of Hixson Junior High for 25 years. He joined the school board in 1993.

"It has been my privilege to work with a lot of very dedicated, professional people. I have enjoyed my work with the kids. I have enjoyed my work with this board and the superintendent," Fairchild said Thursday. "I have the fondest memories of the time I've spent."

Interim District 3 County Commissioner Mitch McClure said the Friends of Hixson group will host a public forum for the applicants March 22.

"We thought the PTA would be able to handle it, but because of the political nature, they declined," McClure said.

Commissioner Greg Beck, who wanted to hold the interviews in public, said he wouldn't be attending individual meetings with candidates.

"I won't be doing any private interviews," Beck said. "I will be attending that public forum. If I have any questions, I will give them to the moderator."

Until September, when the winner of a District 3 special election for County Commission takes office, the areas of Hixson and Middle Valley in that district will be represented at the county level by two people they didn't elect. McClure was appointed by commissioners last year to fill a slot opened when Jim Coppinger was tapped as county mayor.

At Thursday's commission agenda session, District 3 commission candidate Mitzi Yates, a Democrat, asked for public interviews of candidates for the school board seat.

"What you can do in private, you can do in public," she said. "It was brought to my attention that perhaps some of the interviews already occurred."

The Republican seeking the District 3 commission seat, Marty Haynes, said he thinks a public forum will be sufficient.

Yates also asked County Attorney Rheubin Taylor to provide her with the statute that says the commissioners should appoint for the remainder of the term and not until the next general election, which is the protocol for filling vacancies in constitutional offices.