RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – As Election Day gets closer, two candidates for district nine of the Richmond County School Board are talking about their goals.

Super district nine in Richmond County contains districts one, two, four and five.

Incumbent Venus Cain says she is proud of the work she’s seen done since beginning 15 years ago. She hopes to continue that work for four more years.

“My mission in this journey is to provide the best education possible for our students, to be that liaison between the parents and the staff and the community,” said Cain.

Candidate Christopher Mulliens is a community activist and has driven buses for the Richmond County school system. He hopes to instill a better system of communication and support for employees. 

“My campaign slogan is ‘Answering the Call’,” said Mulliens. “‘CALL’ is a slogan for communication, accountability, leadership and love. And communication is one of the biggest issues that I see we have here in Richmond County.”

Cain says she wants to expand the cybersecurity program, and keep students focused and on grade-level. She also wants to attract and retain more teachers.

“I would love to get to the point to where we can get back to the point of paying our teachers a stipend which would match Columbia County,” said Cain.

In addition to a teacher shortage, Mulliens says there is also a bus driver shortage that is leaving some students without a way to school.

“The bus drivers are frustrated. The teachers are frustrated,” said Mulliens. “When you have to take a child to school an hour or two hours late, that creates an issue.”

Mulliens believes when there are enough employees and they are treated well, the system can be “robust and fruitful”.

“‘Thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you’ and showing love and support go a long way,” said Mulliens. “And I think that’s one thing that’s really missing. And when we are able to show our teachers, our bus drivers, our custodial workers, our cafeteria workers… I think that fixture will fix the problem of, well, how much love are we showing our students.”

“Our community has been really great in stepping up and helping us provide some of the resources we needed,” said Cain. “And helping to maintain some of the resources we need. We have good community partners. I think we’re transparent, I think we have accountability.”

Early voting ends on Friday and Election Day is on Tuesday, November 8th.

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