The face of the Montgomery School Board will soon change. Dr. Mark LaBranch and Chairman Dave Borden say they won't run for another term. "It would be best for me make a very intensive effort and I have done that for that six year period of time, but not to go beyond that," says Borden.
"I think losing my two comrades is going to hurt us, there is no question about it," says board member Tommie Miller.
Miller along with Borden and LaBranch came to the board with a vision and agreed to serve only one term. But Miller says, he's going back on his word because he has a commitment to the people and the children of Montgomery County. He adds, "I have gone to my friends in the county and the city to the tune of 70 million dollars. Those friends have said to me don't ask us for this amount of money if you're not willing to stick around and be accountable."
There is concern there's a lack of effective leaders to replace LaBranch and Borden. Two woman believe they are the ones for the job. Melissa Snowden, a former school teacher, wants to replace Borden in district five. "If I'm elected to the board, I will be treating each child like my own. I know each child is so precious and they are part of our community," says Snowden.
Charlotte Meadows like Snowden has three children in the system. She's running for the district two seat. LaBranch has endorsed Meadows saying he wants to pass the torch to her. "I think there are some wonderful things in our school, but I'm also concerned. I think the school system needs to be very accountable to the community," says Meadows.
There has been a public division among the current board. Borden says they're not getting any closer. Everyone hopes with fresh faces, they'll have a fresh start. "Hopefully, all of us will stay focused on what all of us hopes to achieve and that is a quality education system," says Miller.
The board is considering a multi million dollar facilities plan that includes two new east side schools, a new Carver High School with a business theme, and a new school to replace Bellingrath Jr. High. Both Snowden and Meadows say they support the plan.
Snowden and Meadows who are running as Republicans are unopposed right now in the primary. Eleanor Dawkins announced her intent to run against Miller on the Democratic side.