The two candidates running for the school board's District 5 seat will go head to head during a debate at Dalewood Middle School on Tuesday, May 29 from 6-8 p.m.
Contending for the seat is Karitsa Mosley Jones, who has held the position since 2014 and currently serves as vice chairwoman of the board. Her opponent is Ann Jones Pierre, a community member who managed the former Church Koinonia Federal Credit Union that merged with Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union in 2013.
District 5 schools
Lakeside Academy of Math, Science & Technology
Tyner Middle Academy
Washington Alternative Learning Center
The event is being co-hosted by Chattanooga 2.0 and UnifiEd to give residents an idea of each contender's stance on key issues well in advance of the Aug. 2 election, said Natalie Cook, UnifiEd interim executive director.
Candidates will face questions posed by a moderator and have opportunities for rebuttal. Audience members will also have a chance to ask candidates questions directly.
In preparation, the Times Free Press once again 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.
Ann Jones Pierre
Occupation: Retired senior manager from Tennessee Valley Authority
"The experiences that I have had during my career meet the needs of the Hamilton County Department of Education. I have a degree in education, a master's degree in Organizational Management, and senior management experience in budgeting, finance, strategic planning and community development. I attended a college and a local high school that was primarily of one ethnic group, and most of the students were economically challenged. Therefore, I know the environment, challenges and desires of families within the particular schools of District 5.
"I believe the prime issue in the schools in District 5 is the lack of congruence. The model that is being used to teach the students is not accepted by all the players of the team. The teachers, students, parents and administrators must recognize the needs of the population in their particular schools. When elected, I will work with all stakeholders to develop an education model that is suited for the delivery of education to the student; such that the student will meet the standards set for all students within their particular capabilities."
Karitsa Mosley Jones
Jones did not reply to requests for comment.