Voting Signs - May 1

On Thursday, Aug. 2, Davidson County voters will decide the fate of several local offices, including vice mayor and school board seats, that coincide with state and federal primaries. 

Local voters will elect a new District 8 school board member to represent schools in Green Hills. The candidate will replace Mary Pierce, who announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election.

Early voting begins Friday, July 13, and ends Saturday, July 28. Find the full schedule at nashville.gov/Election-Commission.

Here are the school board candidates:

Adam Barese

Barese serves as a PTO treasurer at Glendale Elementary, where he also manages a volunteer-led problem solving competition called Destination Imagination. He said his mission as a school board member would be “to help set the stage for better planning and improved budget management.” Barese has a background as a sales and marketing executive in the medical industry.

 Gini Pupo-Walker

Pupo-Walker is a former Metro Nashville Public Schools educator and is the senior director of education programs and policy at Conexion Americas, a local non-profit that works with Latinos. If elected to the school board, Pupo-Walker said she will “ensure that their aspirations for excellence and success for the children of Nashville are reflected in my service on the board.”

If elected, what would be your top priorities while serving on the school board?

Barese:

 » School-based planning and budgeting that starts with the schools, providing more autonomy to the principal of each school and a better understanding of the financial needs of all schools, as well as MNPS as a whole.

» Identify a budget for MNPS that will truly improve all schools to a level that Nashville residents demand, with a focus on proper pay for teachers and other identified underpaid employees. MNPS has a teacher attrition rate of over 16 percent, this is an unacceptable level.

» Help board members focus on their primary responsibilities, providing oversight of our superintendent and asking the difficult questions to MNPS leadership to help improve the system.

Pupo-Walker:

» To address the budget shortfall in the short and long term and make sure that we are thoughtful about where we are cutting and how we are using our limited resources.

» To make sure we can recruit, retain and reward teachers so that we can stem the turnover in staff each year and make sure we have top talent to teach our students and help them excel.

» To work closely with the board, Dr. Joseph and community partners to address the low levels of literacy in the early grades in our school system. Another key priority for me will be getting to know all of the schools in my district and meet parent leaders, staff and other key stakeholders.

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