Incumbent faces challenger for Montgomery school board’s District 1 seat

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - There will be plenty of Montgomery area races on the ballot on Nov. 8 with one being for Montgomery County Board of Education District 1. Incumbent Lesa Keith is defending her seat against Marcus Vandiver.

Keith has represented District 1 on the Montgomery County Board of Education for eight years.

“I’m a born teacher, I’m a dedicated servant, said Keith. “I believe that we take students in as they come and work with what they can become.”

She says during her time on the board the system, as a whole, has greatly improved. MPS has been removed from state intervention, it’s seen a property tax increase pass the voters, and the system is under the new leadership of Supt. Dr. Melvin Brown.

“Our new superintendent, I couldn’t be prouder of him. I think the people that he’s hiring are absolutely awesome. I really do. I think we’re headed in the right direction,” said Keith.

But the board member feels there is still work to be done in the way of academics, and that’s why she wants to win another term.

“Academics will be my top priority,” said Keith. “It’s high time that we do more than just bring in programs. We’ve got to have some accountability of those programs. I’m asking that from our superintendent. I want data that shows that these programs that we’re spending $440,000 per program are indeed working.”

Keith’s opponent, Marcus Vandiver, says it is time for a change.

“I’m dedicated to collaborative decision making,” he stated. “And I’m a visionary leader. I’m always trying to embrace new ideas and looking for new innovations, doing things a little bit different.”

As an MPS parent and career educator, Vandiver believes he will be able to provide a different perspective on the board.

“I want to establish relationships with the stakeholders in the community. We could do a better job of that in District 1. I don’t feel like everybody’s voice is being heard,” Vandiver added. “So runs the school system. So runs the community.”

Vandiver says students have to be at the forefront of every decision made.

“We just really need to buckle down and make sure that every child in the system has the opportunity to attain a quality education. I believe Montgomery, the students, the teachers, and the parents, our superintendent, and administrators have the talent to make that happen.

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