Who are the candidates for Alabaster’s School Board?

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City Council will interview eight candidates for a seat on the city’s Board of Education over a two-night period in late March, council members said during a recent work session.

Each April, the City Council votes to either reappoint a current School Board member or to appoint a new member to the board on a rotating basis, and typically interviews candidates for the spot each March. Council members accepted applications for the position throughout February.

School Board member Ty Quarles currently occupies the seat, and has applied for another five-year appointment. The City Council will decide next month if it will reappoint Quarles or appoint someone new to the seat.

City Council members will hold four 30-minute interviews beginning at 6 p.m. on March 19 and March 21 at City Hall.

The following Alabaster residents have applied for the BOE seat:

-Bruce Baughman holds degrees from Belhaven University, Jackson State University and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Leadership Program with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a retired United States Marine Corps captain. He said his wide range of service at several levels will be an asset to the School Board.

“I think that my 40 years of public service have given me the skills needed to be of value to the School Board,” Baughman wrote in his application. “This experience I believe could be a real asset to the Alabaster City School Board.”

-Chad Ingram is a long-term care and hospital account manager and holds degrees from the University of Montevallo and The University of Alabama. He has taught at the elementary, middle school and university level, and has supervised student teachers, and his wife and brother currently are teachers. He is a graduate of Thompson High School, and said he would like to continue to build pride in the city’s school system.

“I beam with pride all over the state as I talk about all the great things that are happening in my hometown of Alabaster and with all of our Alabaster City Schools,” Ingram wrote in his application. “If appointed as a member of the Alabaster City School Board, I would work diligently and ethically to make sure that each student, teacher, administrator and support staff are equally treated with fairness, attention, opportunity and support and I would strive to make sure that we give our students and staff every tool necessary for them to be successful.”

-Misty Johnson is a state credit officer for Iberia Bank, and holds a degree in accounting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. If appointed to the School Board, Johnson said she would work to ensure children are safe, would help ACS prepare for future growth and would ensure mental health resources are available to the city’s children.

“My vision for community outreach for the School Board starts with School Board members being active and visible within ACS. My vision is not limited between the walls of the school,” Johnson wrote in her application. “I feel like my financial background, ability to assess and manage risk, project management skills and my passion for our children to ensure we create programs to address the issues are how I can contribute as a School Board member.”

-Amanda Nutton is a compliance coordinator with Pace Runners, and holds a degree in business administration from American Intercontinental University. Her child currently attends Creek View Elementary School. She said she is passionate about improving parent involvement in the city’s schools, and said she would work to ensure the city’s schools are safe.

“The most critical issues I see in my son’s school is parents support. Naturally, I do as much as I can at home to help my child be successful at school and in life. I feel that a lot of kids don’t get that these days,” Nutton wrote. “It is important to me to get kids the support they need that they are not getting away from school.”

-Ty Quarles owns a law firm and a commercial property company in Alabaster, and is a graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law and The University of Alabama in Huntsville ‘s engineering college. Quarles, an inaugural member of the School Board, said he would like to continue the progress the board has made over the past several years.

“From a practical standpoint, my education and work background in law, education, human resources, finance and construction have all proven to be valuable tools in the School Board’s progress the past several years,” Quarles wrote in his application.

-Clay Smith is a network engineer with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and holds associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from American Intercontinental University. He is a United States Navy veteran. He said he would work to promote effective and responsible use of technology in the city’s schools, and would work to help the city’s students get a well-rounded education during their time at ACS.

“Our children need every opportunity that we can provide so that they will have the tools and resources they need to acquire their life goals,” read Clay Smith’s application. “I have been an employee at Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the past 17 years and have various technical and administrative skills that I believe will be a benefit to the city of Alabaster School Board.”

-Vic Smith owns a certified public accounting firm in Alabaster, and holds a business administration degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is on the DAY Program’s board of directors and is the treasurer for the Alabaster Arts Council. Vic Smith said he has a vested interest in the school system, as he has multiple children in the city’s schools.

“As a longtime resident and business owner in the city, I take pride in a strong community and I think my experience will serve the schools well,” he wrote. “My background as a parent, property owner, resident, a CPA, independent business owner and volunteer in the city of Alabaster puts me in a unique position to serve our citizens well.”

-Jamia Alexander Williams is a systems engineer with Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Alabama A&M University and a master’s degree from Strayer University. She is the president of the Angel Warriors Foundation, president of the TMS PTO board, the president of the Alabaster Sports and Entertainment Foundation, the vice president of the THS PTO board and a member of the ACS Foundation board. She said she will work to help ACS increase its test scores, continue to hire highly qualified teachers and prepare students for life after high school.

“As a school board member, I would encourage everyone to continue to have the hard talks with teachers and administrators to make sure we are doing all we can to achieve and succeed,” Williams wrote. “We want our teachers to be able to give our students the time and attention they need without being overwhelmed with large class sizes.”