Katherine Benefield, candidate for the Hamilton County School Board, District 1, has been officially endorsed by the Hamilton County Political Action Committee for Education. In the letter announcing its endorsement, the group wrote, "Your participation, patience, and cooperation has been evident as you have been transparent in your communications and visible in your pursuit to gain additional support from others…gracious in sharing your thoughts and time in the spirit of serving the needs of people in the Hamilton County community…we are proud to recommend and support your candidacy…Your professionalism and instructional experiences working with students, parents, and colleagues will bring a fresh practitioner perspective to the Hamilton County BOE."
Ms. Benefield said, “I am deeply grateful for the support of HCPACE and appreciative that its members recognize the depth of my commitment to improving Hamilton County Schools.”
She went on to detail additional goals she would pursue as a school board member. “I am strongly in support of magnet schools, and believe we should create a Children's Zone like the Harlem model for the Hardy Elementary school district.
“Serious discussion needs to happen now about raising taxes to set in place the necessary infrastructure for schools countywide, addressing the exponential growth coming with Gig City, industrial development and the proposed and necessary high-speed rail connection between here and Atlanta. There has been no increase since 2006—and no one has been brave enough to address raising the necessary money for capital funds to build.
“We must examine re-implementation of principal and board staff development retreats and do a full re-examination of the outsourcing done 10 years ago in custodial, cafeteria and transportation. There must be discussion of the option of state healthcare as better and less expensive than Blue Cross/Cigna options.
“I advocate extended alternative school, parallel to the high school program for students with intense behavior issue; I favor creating one new trade school and expansion and open enrollment for Sequoyah High School; protection of the Orange Grove contract for students with comprehensive medical and cognitive disabilities; and limited support for charter options which would be appropriate for gifted students and students with autism.
“We should utilize full, inclusive participation between schools and the gang task force; implementation of a new safe schools program with an updated policy on bullying and social networking; and re-initiation of a parent advisory board to assist in resolution of intense topics such as zoning and magnet school problems.”
Contact Katherine Benefield at 423 260-9545.