BOE candidates talk reasons for running
BAKERSVILLE – There are four seats available on the board of education Nov. 6, three seats for regular terms and one to fill the unexpired term of Sherry Bell, who resigned earlier this year after taking a job in South Carolina.
The seats currently held by board members Kathy Young, Angie Burleson and Gary Moore are up for re-election. Young and Burleson filed for re-election, but Gary Moore did not. In addition to Young and Burleson, Beaver Creek Baptist Church Pastor Brandon Pitman and retired music teacher Tim Drum also filed to run, making it four people vying for three seats.
Webb Funeral Home owner Chris Pitman filed to run but withdrew from the race because of a conflict of interest in his employment contract.
Retired teacher Brenda Sparks and businessman John Wilson filed to seek the seat vacated by Bell’s resignation. School board candidate Brandon Pitman was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Bell for the remainder of the term.
Tim Drum has lived in Mitchell County since 1983. He taught band, music and other classes for 28 years in the Mitchell County School system.
“I did not realize what a joy teaching could be until I got to Mitchell County,” Drum said. “Mitchell County schools gave my children and so many others great educations and my wife and I good careers. I am running for school board because I see it as an opportunity to give back to a school system that has done so much for me. I hold no grudges and know enough about the school system to be helpful.”
Brenda Sparks is also a retired music teacher. She taught her entire career in Mitchell County.
“I am a pretty unique candidate for school board,” Sparks said. “I am a former music teacher who taught in every school in Mitchell County. I have four grandchildren enrolled in Mitchell County Schools. I have no agendas except that I love Mitchell County Schools and I know what these schools have produced; I know what we can do. We do more with less than any other school system I have ever seen. We are a small county, but our teachers are dedicated.”
John Wilson ran for school board in the early 2000s. Now retired, he said he chose to run when he started thinking about the future of Mitchell County.
“It’s all about the kids,” he said. “I’m excited to run. I have two grandchildren in school and two soon to be in school right here in Mitchell County. I am a Bowman High School graduate, I have taught school at the high school and college levels and spent time as an athletic director.”
Wilson is the only Mitchell County native to receive a Division I scholarship to play basketball. He was a member of the Mississippi State Bulldogs from 1968-1971.
Brandon Pitman has also spent ample amounts of time in the classroom, teaching at Mayland and Mitchell High School through Mayland’s agriculture department.
“I am grateful for the opportunity presented to me,” Brandon Pitman said. “My goal is to ensure our students have as many opportunities as possible.”
Incumbent Angie Burleson is the current chair of the school board and incumbent Kathy Young is vice chair.
“It has been a privilege to serve as a member of the Mitchell County School Board,” Burleson said. “I would love to serve in this role another four years.”