Three of nine candidates for the Glynn County board of education say they would close Altama Elementary first if a dwindling educaiton budget forced school consolidation.
The Republican candidates were polled on the issue during a Republican-hosted forum Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Brunswick. They will face the voters Tuesday.
District 3 candidates Noel Jensen and incumbent John Madala, as well as At-Large Post 2 candidate L.A. Chancey, said because of the age, condition and location of Altama Elementary, it would likely be the best first choice should schools need to be merged as a cost-saving measure.
Earl Perry, a candidate for District 1, said he would likely close St. Simons Elementary because of the available capacity at Oglethorpe Point Elementary, the other school on St. Simons Island.
When asked about block scheduling at the two county high schools, two of the three incumbents present defended it, while another did not.
Incumbents in three of four board of education races could learn if they will serve another term in the July 31 primary elections.
Incumbent Venus Holmes, a candidate for District 5 and the only Democrat in all board of education races, will have to wait until November to learn if she will serve on the board again.
Republican Dee Rogers is hoping to unseat Holmes, who has served on the board for nearly a decade.
In the race for District 3, Republican Noel Jensen will seek to take over the seat held by Republican incumbent John Madala since 2008.
The situation is similar for the at-large post 2 seat.
Ray Snow (i)
Residence: Glynn County
In Glynn County: 35
A former chairman of the Glynn County Republican Party is asking a board of education candidate who made online comments claiming Jews have controlled the murders of whites, Christians and Gentiles to withdraw from the July 31 primary.
Chancey is one of two Republican primary candidates challenging the re-election of Jerry Mancil, chair of the Glynn County Board of Education, to a countywide at-large post. The other candidate is Larry Lynch.
"After reviewing her Facebook posts and comments to the media, researching her claims, and after speaking directly with her, it is with a heavy heart that I call upon my friend L.A. Chancey, a candidate for the Glynn County Board of Education, to withdraw from the Republican primary," Gough wrote online.
His posting goes on to rebut several points in Chancey's original posting in which she made her claims two weeks ago.
Chancey's claims ignited the ire of residents who shared it on their own social networking pages. A public conversation, including more than 180 comments, many from Chancey in response to people attempting to rebut her claims, played out on restaurant owner Jeff Montaigne's social media page. At least 25 other people shared the comment on their pages, as well.
A candidate seeking the Republican nomination for a Glynn County Board of Education seat says her recent Facebook posting that claims Jews controlled the mass murder of whites, Christians and Gentiles in the last century was taken out of context and was not meant to be offensive.
Chancey, one of three primary candidates for the At-large Post 2 seat on the board of education, said she wanted to get people thinking and to research what she says is a piece of history she thinks many people overlook.
"The point in putting it out there was to educate people that there was another holocaust (before World War II)," Chancey said. "(The Facebook posting) was not anti-Semitic and was not meant to offend anyone." An estimated 6 million European Jews and other persecuted groups, such as Gypsies and homosexuals, were killed by Adolph Hitler's Nazi regime between 1941 and 1945.
In her posting, which Chancey has removed from her Facebook page but opponents of it have preserved online, Chancey wrote:
"School yourself. Every Christian in this nation needs to become aware of Jewish control in the mass murder of whites, Christians and Gentiles within the last 100 years. Bet 95% of my 'friends' thought the Holocaust was initiated by Hitler .... The first Holocaust was started by Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution. The Second Holocaust was Hitler's attempt to rid Germany of Jewish economic rule. As Obama aligns himself with Vladamir Putin, we must ask ourselves why?"
A retired U.S. Customs officer and a small business entrepreneur hope to unseat the sitting chairman of the Glynn County Board of Education in the July 31 Republican Primary election for the at-large post 2.
"We spend tons of money on new programs, new projects, new testing requirements, but the education system is decreasing in effectiveness as evidenced by the decreasing SAT scores," Lynch said.
He said his experience working in a governmental environment, growing up in his parent's retail store and serving in the military will contribute to his ability to be an effective board member.
"As a senior special agent with Customs, I conducted financial and fraud investigations and will put those skills to work for the Glynn County School System by looking into and questioning those expenditures and expenses which do not pass the smell test," Lynch said.
Lynch said his main goal would be to raise test scores, lower costs and allow educators to teach students how to think critically.
A local businessman hopes to unseat incumbent John Madala in the race for the Glynn County Board of Education's District 3.
"I feel that by running for this position I could assist the system in eliminating waste and keeping tax mills low while keeping the main focus on student achievement," Jensen said.
If elected, Jensen said he will look at every aspect of school operations to find ways to eliminate wasteful spending.
"I have seen that too often the teachers in this system are asked to do more with less pay, have increased working hours and fewer educational tools," Jensen said.
He said ensuring everyone from upper administration to custodians are sharing the burden equally will help in the tough economic times.
A former Glynn County public school teacher and a former Glynn County school board member will challenge incumbent Ray Snow in the District 1 board of education race.
She said she felt it was time to be on the other side.
"I feel we need quality education back in Glynn County," Metz said. "I have talked to parents who say they don't feel their children are getting the same quality of education they received."
To do that, Metz wants to streamline the central office, which she said is top heavy with administrators.
If elected, Metz hopes to reorganize to allow teachers more time for instruction and less time jumping through hoops.
A Brunswick mother of four says she will run as the District 5 representative for the Glynn County Board of Education.
"I decided to run because rather than complain about things, I wanted to do something about it," Rogers said.
Rogers believes more could have been done to save the programs, and she wants to help mitigate further cuts to education, she said.
This is the first time Rogers, who has children at Sterling Elementary and Glynn Academy, has sought political office, she said.
One of Rogers' goals is to open communication between the board of education, residents and the city and county governments.