Note: Clay Community Schools Board of Trustees candidates and the Democratic Party candidates for Sheriff are invited to participate in a candidates' forum sponsored by The Brazil Times, Clay County Farm Bureau and Clay County Chamber of Commerce at 6 p.m. on April 26 at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
The school board candidates will introduce themselves and be questioned in writing by the audience at 6 p.m. The Democratic Party sheriff's candidates will introduce themselves and be questioned in writing at 8 p.m.
All other candidates in attendance will have the opportunity to introduce themselves that evening as well.
We hope all area residents will take the opportunity to participate by attending this forum.
- Terry Barr running for re-election
I am Terry Barr and have served on the Clay Community School Board for the past four years.
After much thought I have decided to seek re-election as School Board Member-at-Large.
I have found that most of the school board business has little to do with the daily operations of the schools. Our schools are ran and maintained by dedicated and hardworking employees who have our children's best interest at heart. A school board's responsibility is to set policy, hire a superintendent, and be good steward's of the corporations resources.
Unfortunately, we have had a very difficult time maintaining even the status quo over the last four years. We have been faced with increased cost, decreased revenue and higher standards with less resources. Although the future is looking better, we have ground to regain and plans in place for the future as circumstances and finances allow. There are physical needs in our facilities that must be taken care of, programs that need returned, and many that need added.
I feel that it is important that a school board member looks at all the needs of all the students in all of our schools. There are many needs and it is important to always look at the corporation as a whole and prioritize the needs and the steps that must be taken for everyone's benefit.
We have a community committee ready to go to work to list and prioritize the physical needs of our buildings. The problems range from inadequate classes to handicapped accessibility.
Our financial situation is improving due to great sacrifice made by most of the corporations employees and students. Our immediate goal is reduce the class size in the larger classes. Large classes benefit no one, especially our students. I hope our scheduling conflict is resolved soon. That will allow us to bring back many of the classes that have had to be cut over the past few years due to lack of enrollment. I feel our students should be able to schedule not only Pre-AP classes and AP classes, but also to be able to take classes that allow them to explore areas of interest. I also hope we can add remediation for the students that are struggling in certain areas.
I have struggled about what to say regarding the School Corporation's inability to negotiate a current contract with the Clay County Teachers Association. The teachers are presently still working under the terms of the last negotiated contract. I think it speaks highly of all of the people still continuing to do their best, despite being a part of a situation that is distressing to everyone involved. Our teachers deserve the best. All of our employees deserve the best. Our students deserve the best. Our resources are limited.
I sincerely hope that the worst of the financial difficulties are behind us. I feel we have plans in place to move ahead. I know I had a great deal to learn and understand once I became a member of the board four years ago. I am still learning. I believe a board member's job is to always look at all the needs in all the schools, students and employees. I believe we have to use our resources wisely to the best benefit of the most students.