Thursday was the last day for county school board candidates in Districts 1, 2, 5 and 7 to qualify for the election.
In District 2 (Church Hill area) current board chairman Chris Christian will be re-elected unopposed; in District 5 (Rogersville) incumbent Jackie Charles will be re-elected unopposed; and in District 7 (Bulls Gap, Persia and St. Clair) incumbent Judy Woods-Trent will be re-elected unopposed.
The only newcomer to the BOE is 36-year-old Mount Carmel mortgage banker and father of two, McClure Boyd. He was the only candidate seeking the District 1 seat (Mount Carmel, Allandale).
Boyd will replace former board chairman Bob Larkins who chose not to seek a third term.
A Kingsport native Boyd has lived in Mount Carmel with his wife Kristen and children for about seven years. Both of his children, ages 8 and 5, attend Mount Carmel Elementary School.
Boyd attended James Madison University where he earned a degree in history. After college Boyd worked at Eastman Credit Union for 11 years, and for the past year has been a mortgage banker for Bank of Tennessee.
He took the time on Thursday to answer a few questions for the Times News.
KTN: What made you decide to run for school board?
“I saw the article that Bob Larkins was not going to run for re-election, and talked to some people about it. I really just felt the need to step up and be there for the community. I didn't feel like anybody was going to run, and I felt the need to step up for the school system and the kids, and have a voice there. I'm not coming in thinking I'll be a world changer. With my background and the way I've related to the public my whole professional career I think it will be a good transition.”
KTN: Are there any issues at the top of your list that you'll want to address when you join the board?
“The thing that will be on everybody's mind is this COVID-19 and what the world will look like after this. It's something that we're all going to have to navigate something new in the next few month and possibly a year, and see what happens. I think that will be at the top of the list. Other than that, just supporting the community, supporting the teachers — I would really like to support them as much as possible with the things that they need. Obviously you have to do that within a budget.”
KTN: One issue that was about to get heated up again before the COVID-19 shutdown was a recent system wide economic study, and the possibility of closing two schools and reducing teaching staff. Have you formed an opinion on that issue yet?
“I'm aware of it, but I haven't delved into it enough to form my own opinion on it yet. I know a lot of people in the community who have strong opinions one way or another on that, so I know it's a divisive issue for sure. But, at this point without having gone through the whole scope of that economic study I really couldn't comment on it at this point.”
KTN: How can your previous experience serve you well on the board?
“Dealing with personalities on the board and people that you work with in Central Office — I feel like that's a strong suit of mine having worked with the public for so long.”
KTN: Now that you know you'll be taking office on Sept. 1 what will you do between now and then to get prepared?
“My first goal will be to try to talk to everybody, meet everybody, and really just study as much as I can of the issues that need to be discussed when I take office. Some issues may be resolved by that point. Some may not. I at least want to have a good idea of what we'll be discussing in my first meeting. I'm not going to come in and try to change everything, but I want to be well versed. This will be a five month research project for me to get some things under my belt to where I feel comfortable going in and being part of the discussion.”
KTN: Anything else you'd like the public to know about you?
“Just that I look forward to the opportunity, and look forward to representing the people the best I can.”