Weil, Portis vying for Montgomery school board’s District 2 seat

2 democrats are vying for votes for MPS Board of Education District 2 seat (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s statewide primary election is Tuesday. In Montgomery County, voters will head to the ballots to decide on a number of Montgomery County Board of Education races. The Democratic candidates for District 2 are incumbent Clare Weil and Pamela Portis.

Weil, a Montgomery businesswoman, is a product of Montgomery Public Schools and proudly serves District 2 on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

“I’ve managed to make change happen in the past three and a half years. And I think we had been stuck for a very long time, said Weil. “We have a board full of very smart women who all have a passion for MPS. I think that my gift is to pull everybody to the table. And I think it’s been to pull the community to the table as well.”

The current school board president says the board has worked together to get MPS out from under state intervention, become fully accredited, and pass an ad valorum tax increase.

“We have a great plan in place that will help rebuild or revitalize every school in the system. It also adds art and music back into the schools, it adds AP classes. It adds more classes for MPACT, where our students can have a career when they come out of high school,” said Weil. “We’ve gotten rid of all of the bad bones, and now it’s time to get our students polished up and have a great system for them.”

Weil says would like to continue to serve in this capacity. Her number one priority is student achievement.

“With COVID we managed to slip backwards, not just us but throughout the nation. We have just got to get our kids back on track,” said Weil. “It’s time to get those expectations up high because children will perform at the level they’re expected to perform at, and there’s no reason to not expect the very best.”

Portis is a product of MPS and a retired educator with more than 28 years of experience. Now a GED facilitator, she believes her diverse background will bring something new to District 2.

“I served as a school bookkeeper, I was the secretary to superintendents, and I have also been in the classroom. I taught business, education and math,” said Portis. “I am the GED facilitator for the Family Guidance Center. I get to see the other side of education when the front side fails. So it’s been so rewarding because now it’s a better gauge. I’m excited about the opportunity to blend these two.”

She is standing on platform she calls R.I.S.E., which stands for respect, integrity, service and schools that work for everyone.

“We’ve got to get away from making decisions at the table and go into some of the classroom. We need to see the faces of these people we make decisions for. We need to have a connection with the good and the bad,” said Portis. “It shouldn’t be if you’re in a magnet school, your school work for you, and if you’re in a traditional, your school doesn’t. Schools need to work for everyone.”

Safety is a top priority of hers and she looks to create possible partnerships to address the issue.

“I don’t think you get to bring your community back in a way that we need them if the schools aren’t safe,” said Portis. “My passion and my purpose for this mission, I need to see these children survive, not just thrive but survive. We’re losing these children at record number. We have to stop this. We level the playing field to educate them in such a way that they’re excited about living.”

There is not a Republican challenger in this race.

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