MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - With Montgomery Public School's accreditation under review, two Democrats are running for the chance to improve learning conditions for students.
After Tuesday's election, Phillip Ensler or Brenda Deramus-Coleman will have the chance to call upon their educational experience to represent District 3 on the Montgomery County Board of Education.
"The technology often didn't work, we were using old textbooks," Ensler said, recalling his days teaching at Robert E. Lee High School. "So I understand what teachers and what our schools are going through right now. I understand what students are getting and not getting."
Deramus-Coleman said her decision to run was in an effort to get results for MPS as quickly as possible.
"I realized with urging from friends I have all of those practical experiences and training and the time is now," she said. "The time is right."
Ensler, who is now a civil rights attorney, said he wants to be a voice for those he would represent.
"Choosing me is really making sure that students have a seat at the table, parents have a seat at the table and teachers have a seat at the table, and that their voice is heard," he said. "Yes, it's my name on the ballot, but it's not just about me. I think we need to have a long-term vision and a plan for what our students need in order to be prepared to achieve their goals."
Deramus-Coleman said her biggest asset is her ability to connect people to rally around MPS.
"There are other people out there who want to help solve these problems," she said. "As a matter of fact, one group said, 'We've been wanting to do something. We just didn't know what.' I said, 'Perfect. We can find the things for each group to do depending on their particular strengths.'"
Both candidates say they've already started working with the community to implement some of their ideas and, win or lose, will continue to do so.