Marchetta Cannon wants to simplify the Hamilton County Board of Education.
The 52-year-old said the process to speak before the board is cumbersome, and information about the system isn't readily available.
"Our administration is not community friendly, nor is our board," said Mrs. Cannon, who is running for the 9th District school board seat that Chester Banks is leaving to run for a County Commission seat. "Not only our parents, but our residents of Hamilton County should be encouraged to come to the school board meetings because the majority of their property tax dollar goes to the system."
District 9 includes 11 schools in the Ooltewah area.
Mrs. Cannon said the policy of requiring people to write a letter requesting permission to speak before the board, after going through channels at the school, is counterproductive.
"This is ludicrous," she said. "A parent, a resident, a concerned citizen should have the right, after they go through the schools, to address the board on an issue that is on the agenda for that night."
Mrs. Cannon said violence in the county's schools needs to be addressed, regardless of how large or small the incident. If elected, she said, she'd like to work toward standardizing rules across the county regarding how school violence is handled.
As a mother of two children who went through the Hamilton County school system, Mrs. Cannon believes she has distinctive experience to bring to the board.
* Age: 52
* Family: Husband, Harry, 60; son, Bradley, 34; son, Kevin, 33
* Occupation: Retired medical assistant
"I've seen the good side of the school system, and I've seen the bad side and I've seen the ugliest that this school system has to offer," she said.
Shenna Meyer, who has known Mrs. Cannon for 25 years, said Mrs. Cannon's tenacity would be beneficial for the school board.
"She frankly cares about children and about our community and about, frankly, making things better for our community," Ms. Meyer said. "She will follow a path as far as it takes her. She's just very positive and would be an asset to our school board."
Other candidates for the seat include Timothy Stevenson, Caleb Long, Michael Evatt, Gary Potter and Karen Farrow. School board members serve four-year terms. The general election is Aug. 5.
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