Lydia Nuttall, who is running for a seat on the Morgan County School Board representing District 1, is familiar with the way the school district works.
She has been attending local school board meetings for three years now, state board meetings for over a year, and monthly state board curriculum committee meetings. She also counts experience serving on community councils in three schools, PTSO boards, and Morgan Empowered. With such previous experience under her belt, Nuttall considers herself a “connector,” or voice between parents and schools.
“I consider it an honor to have the chance to be elected by the people in District 1 and to represent them as a member of the current board of education team whom I have watched all these years as an interested parent sitting in the audience,” said Nuttall, who has lived in the county nine years. “I desire to share strengths with the board and district and work as a team to further prepare and strengthen the youth in our school district for the future.”
She started the Morgan Community Network email and blog at http://morgancommunitynetwork.blogspot.com/ last year to pass information she has learned at the local and state level to parents and grandparents.
Nuttall said the biggest challenges facing the school board now are budget cuts.
“Our school district has some big decisions to make that will affect me and you and our youth in big ways,” said Nuttall, who has two children attending Morgan schools. The answer depends on the balance between more cuts and obtaining public support for those cuts as well as the possibility of a tax increase, she said. Nuttall said she would make decisions by gathering all the necessary facts from those closest to the information, using those facts to educate residents living in her district, asking the faculty and administration’s opinion, gathering input from her constituents, and reporting that input to the board.
“This is a ‘we the people’ decision, not a ‘just me’ decision,” she said.
Future actions should be determined by setting priorities and being willing to make sacrifices for doing what’s best for students, she said. “Then we all link arms, make a commitment, roll up our sleeves and jump in,” she said.
With a growing national debt and gross domestic product that is not keeping up, Nuttall said she doesn’t believe in “free money.”
“As Americans, we have this insatiable appetite for more and more and more from our school districts and our national government, which are either already belly-up or closely approaching that position,” she said in an e-mail. “If the program is really critical to have and the funds are there, then let’s cross that bridge together.”
Nuttall supports the new professional learning communities, which will allow time each week for teachers in all four schools to collaborate together.
In the state ranking third lowest in youth voter participation during the 2008 election, she encourages all residents to vote, especially the youth.
“We owe it to the youth of this rising generation to show them by our example that we honor and value our freedom to vote,” she said. “If voting is important to us, voting will be important to them.”