Community News Meet the District 8 school board candidates

Community News Meet the District 8 school board candidates

May 16th, 2018 by Myron Madden in Community East Hamilton

David Testerman, incumbent, introduces himself as Tucker McClendon looks on during a debate at East Ridge Elementary School Monday, May 8, 2018 in East Ridge, Tenn. UnifiEd was hosting the first of a series of debates between Hamilton County school board candidates Monday night.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

Candidates looking to fill the school board's District 8 seat squared off during a debate last week, but voters still have until Aug. 2 before it's time to cast their ballots.

Running to keep his seat is incumbent David Testerman, who has served on the board since 2010. He faces opposition from Tucker McClendon, a political science student who recently graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he served on the Student Government Association as chairman of government and external affairs.

Schools in District 8

Barger Academy of Fine Arts

Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts

East Ridge Elementary

East Ridge Middle

East Ridge High

Spring Creek Elementary

To help residents prepare for Election Day, the Times Free Press asked both candidates the same two questions: "What experience/qualifications make you the best candidate?" and "What do you feel is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?" Each had 150 words or less with which to answer.

Check back soon for profiles on candidates running for the District 5 seat.

Tucker McClendon

Age: 23

Occupation: Market manager for Public Markets Inc.

"I offer a unique experience and qualifications as I have recently been through the Hamilton County school system and have seen firsthand how much students and teachers are struggling. I have mentored in our schools as well as volunteered and fundraised for schools all over Hamilton County. This has given me the firsthand knowledge that the problems I experienced and saw still exist today.

"We have failed our students for the past 30 years by not giving them the best education possible. I was unprepared when I started at UTC, and that is simply unacceptable for any student that is graduating from a high school in Hamilton County. I plan to focus on making sure every student in District 8 and Hamilton County graduates fully prepared to achieve at the next level, whether that be college or vocational training."

David Testerman

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired educator

"I have over 30 years of experience as an educator. Twenty-six years were spent as a public school principal where I worked with all education levels: high school, middle school and elementary. For the past eight years, I have served on the Hamilton County School Board.

"I am a strong advocate for expanded vocational, technical and STEM education opportunities, and I served as a team member during the preliminary formation of the current Hamilton County STEM School located at Chattanooga State Community College.

"School safety is currently the most pressing issue for all Hamilton County schools, including those in my district. I will continue to support the expansion of independent bus operations at all schools. Bus drivers are our students' front line of safety.

"The ongoing gun violence in U.S. schools demands change in our actions and policies. I support adding school resource officers in all schools."