Forum: Clark County school board candidates

Clark County Board of Education candidates discussed training high school students for careers in Winchester as well as how to recruit and retain minority staff in the Better Together Winchester candidates forum Thursday.

Candidates Judy Hicks, incumbent candidate for District 4, and Bill Taulbee, candidate for District 1, were present at the forum. Two school board candidates, Patti Columbia, a candidate for District 1 and Sherry Richardson, a candidate for District 4, could not attend the forum because of scheduling conflicts.

Hicks and Taulbee both discussed the importance of the Clark County Area Technology Center housed at George Rogers Clark High School. 

Hicks said the ATC has state-of-the-art facilities and includes a variety of programs. She also cited a recent decision by the board to approve additional staffing for an EMT program.

Taulbee said he had the opportunity to tour the facility and was impressed with the number of programs available.

Taulbee said it needs to be marketed better to students and he would like to see additional programs such as plumbing, HVAC, electric and more.

“I believe the room is there,” he said.

Taulbee said he would also like to see more partnership among businesses and schools.

The candidates also discussed recruiting and retaining minority staff at Clark County Public Schools.

Hicks said recruiting and retaining minority staff is a shared issue among many counties. She said limited numbers of minority students are choosing to go into education and those that do are “snatched” by districts with a higher tax base, higher tax rates and higher salaries.

“We’re competing for the same amount of candidates that other districts are competing for,” Hicks said.

Hicks said the board’s role when it comes to hiring is limited by law.

Taulbee said there aren’t enough applicants. Coming from a business perspective, he said he would like to see more of an effort to recruit whether that be by a referral program, marketing campaigns or more.