AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)- The Richmond County Board of Education has three contested seats in this election. 

Both candidates for Richmond County’s Board of Education District 7 seat – incumbent Charlie Walker Junior and challenger Brittiany Broadwater — say they’re focused on what’s important – education .

“I think with my skill set– I have a background in education, I graduated from Stanford University where I studied education and all of the youth serving roles that I have had– I think I now have a skillset where I can contribute to improving our school district,” Broadwater said.

“To offer our teachers and our support staff the opportunity to get back to a normal environment, and to continue to support and nurture that early-learning opportunity so that when kids come into the system, it’ll give us a better chance to be a more successful school system,” Walker Jr. said.

Both candidates say their ties to Richmond County drives them, more, to spark positive change for the education and lives of its students. 

Broadwater feels that just because the school board is a policy making body, does not mean that their efforts for the students cannot go beyond. 

“To lead beyond just making policy, but to lead and lead the larger effort that we need, here, in Richmond Co. to bring our school system where it needs to be.” 

And with an uptick in school violence, she says it’s up to policy makers to find a solution before it’s too late, while Walker Jr. feels it’s hard to detect when something bad could happen.

“We’re gonna ask them to walk through detectors, we’re gonna ask them to wear backpacks, but we don’t actually talk about how can we prevent the issues from happening in the first place– which is really to work with students,” Broadwater said.

“There’s no great answer for that, because like I said, bad intentions don’t have a time frame and they don’t really care where they are,” Walker Jr. 

But Broadwater says that as long as students and families trust the system, it’s less likely for a student to fall through the cracks.

“Every single student has a strong connection to at least one adult in the school building and I would extend that further to where every single family has a strong connection with someone in the school buildings.”

Walker Jr. says his goal, if re-elected, would be to stand by the Richmond County Superintendent after serving a term that saw an unprecedented time.

“This is really his first time to be able to implement some of the policies and programs that he wants to put in place, in his vision, in his future– and I’d like to be there to support that.” 

But one thing is for certain, both candidates feel strongly about working towards giving every student in Richmond County a chance to succeed.

“We cannot, we cannot spend another child’s entire K-12 career without giving them the opportunity to have an excellent education in our schools,” Broadwater said.

“If– if we find that we’re not doing our job by supporting them and they’re the ones that are, basically giving us our grade– then we have to look at okay, where is the– where is the problem,” Walker Jr. said. 

Polls are open Tuesday from 7-A-M to 7-P-M.