Columbia County School Board District 3 candidates discuss platform

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga.(WJBF) - As we inch closer to the May 22 election, Columbia County school board candidates for District 3 are working hard to get  your vote.

District 3 school board candidate Judy Teasley spent years teaching Columbia County students government.

Now, she's even more immersed in it as she works to get your vote.

"It's time. I've never been unconcerned about education," said Teasley.

Teasley isn't just involved in education on a local level.

"I belong to the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, which is a professional association, not a union," said Teasley.

Candidate Andrew Kemp is also no stranger to education.

Kemp is a professor at Augusta University and his children have attended Columbia County schools.

"There was too much focus on testing and test preparation and not enough about critical thinking and creative problem solving. So, I just wanted to be able to do something about it," said Kemp.

Now, he's hoping by sitting in the district 3 seat, he can make a difference.

"Right now, we have kids in elementary school going to school with backpacks that weigh twenty pounds. First of all, an elementary school kid shouldn't have a backpack," said Kemp.

Both agree that certain changes should be made when it comes to education.

Kemp believes teachers should have more leeway in the classroom.  

Teasley says there needs to be an emphasis on vocational education.

"Students who are ready for, would enjoy skill trades, whether that paint and body technician, heating and air conditioning technician," said Teasley.

"Teachers are professionals, they have degrees. They're certified on multiple levels. They're required to go back and get more certification and yet we treat it like a vocation," said Kemp.

As far as support, current District 3 School Board Member Mike Sleeper tells NewsChannel 6 that he's backing Judy Teasley.

Sleeper tells NewsChannel 6, "We need someone who cares about our children on the board, not about advancing their own political career. (We need) someone who knows education, not buzz words."

Both District 3 candidates are up against candidate George Bratcher.

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