Recent high school graduate D'Andre Anderson has announced his bid for the District 9 seat on the Hamilton County Board of Education.
Anderson, 19, is a graduate of Central High School, recently a student at Austin Peay State University and a member of the Tennessee National Guard. He faces Steve Highlander, the incumbent and board chairman who was Anderson's own school board representative while he was a student.
"I'm running for the school board to raise students' and teachers' voices," Anderson said in a statement. "I spent 11 years in District 9 schools, where raising voices was my highest priority. It will be my highest priority on the school board, as well."
The Times Free Press previously reported that Anderson moved back to Chattanooga from Clarksville at the end of the semester and is transferring to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
According to a news release, Anderson hopes to increase the board's focus on diversity, improving the teacher and student advisory councils, implementing a multi-year budget plan and increasing communication among community members, families and the school system.
"I will listen to the community and act on every family's concerns. I will be fair and represent every school and every part of our district. I'm here to better our students' lives, give our teachers a voice, and make Hamilton County be the best it can be," Anderson said in a statement.
While in high school, Anderson worked as a student organizer for the local nonprofit organization UnifiEd and also served as a student representative on the school board.
His campaign manager, Allen Liu, is a local youth activist, founder of Chattanooga Students Leading Change and a recent graduate of McCallie School.
Anderson faced off against Highlander in a candidate debate hosted by UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0 on May 15 at Ooltewah High School.
The nonpartisan school board is elected during the general election on Aug. 2.