Hamilton County school board candidate debates scheduled throughout May

Debates between Hamilton County Department of Education candidates have been scheduled from May 7-21 for candidates in districts 3, 6, 8 and 9.

All debates will be held from 6-8 p.m., according to a news release. A date for the district 5 debate has yet to be determined.

Candidates will have a set response time to answer questions from moderators and will then have an opportunity for rebuttals. Members of the audience will also have a chance to ask their own questions.

The debates will be co-hosted by Chattanooga 2.0 and UnifiEd, in conjunction with Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, Inc. and the Hamilton County Education Association.

The debates are being held well in advance of the Aug. 2 election so that voters have "an opportunity to hear candidates' stances on key issues around our public schools and engage in meaningful discussion throughout the summer," Natalie Cook, UnifiEd interim executive director, said in a statement.

"There is momentum for positive change in our schools," she said. "Now is the time for voters to find out exactly where their would-be school board representatives stand on education issues, decide which candidate shares their vision for the future of our schools, and then go vote."

Jared Bigham, executive director of Chattanooga 2.0, said he hopes attendees will go prepared with questions that reflect their top priorities for education.

"In order to build the 'smartest community in the South,' our community must have transparent forums for engaging with candidates," he said.


  • District 3 - Monday, May 21 - Hixson High School
  • Candidates: Miracle Hurley, Joe Smith

  • District 6 - Tuesday, May 8 - Lookout Valley Middle/High School
  • Candidates: Michael Henry, Jenny Hill

  • District 8 - Monday, May 7 - East Ridge Elementary School
  • Candidates: Tucker McClendon, David Testerman

  • District 9 - Monday, May 14 - Ooltewah High School
  • Candidates: D'Andre Anderson, Steve Highlander

  • District 5 - to be determined

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