Primary election results show changes to CCS leadership

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

By Joyanna Love / Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools will have a new superintendent and at least four new Board of Education members when the next governmental term begins in January.

Jason Griffin won the Republican primary over incumbent Tommy Glasscock. Griffin received 5,276 votes.

“I am humbled and honored by the support of the people of Chilton County,” Griffin said.

Since no one ran for this office on the Democratic primary, Griffin will be the new superintendent, unless an independent candidate qualifies to run in the November General Election and wins. Griffin said he did not think an independent candidate would run.

School safety and “boosting employee and student morale” will be some of his first concerns.

Griffin was most recently the transportation supervisor for Chilton County Schools.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Glasscock on the transition to make it a smooth transition,” Griffin said.

He said he plans to hit the ground running and work to ensure “all students have the best opportunities academically.”

The top seven Board of Education candidates in the Republican primary and the one candidate from the Democrat primary will be advancing to the General Election on Nov. 6.

These Republican candidates include current board members Lori Patterson, Pam Price and Keith Moore as well as Brian Jackson, Angie Sanderson, Chris Smith and Paula Thorton. The Democrat candidate is Jacqueline Sullivan.

“I’m appreciative to the people who showed their support by voting for me,” Patterson said.

Patterson said the new board will need to continue the focus on school safety and build on recent improvements. She listed more safety personnel and upgrades to infrastructure as the next steps.

“I am floored that I came in second,” Price said.

Price received 6,635 votes. The only candidate who received more was Patterson with 7,402.

“Now more than ever we need to come up with a five -year plan (for renovation) and stick to it because our buildings are deteriorating,” Price said.

She said textbooks for students and having a full-time grant writer for the school system were also needed.

Jackson said he ran for school board to be a voice for teachers and students.

“I see a lot of teachers that are turning in their retirement after 25 years because they are beat down,” Jackson said.

He said the focus for the new board will need to be on safety infrastructure at entrances and school resource officers.

Advancing to the general election “means a lot,” Jackson said.

“Being from the north end of the county, they don’t really have a voice up there so it gives them some representation on the board,” Jackson said.

Smith said he is “excited and ready to work with” whomever becomes the new school board.

He said coming from a business background, one of the focuses for the school board needs to be fiscal responsibility.

“Spend your money wisely to achieve whatever your goal is,” Smith said.

He listed giving teachers the tools for effective teaching and school security as other top priorities.

“It’s an honor,” Sanderson said. “I am humbled and grateful and blessed that the people of Chilton County put faith and trust in me.”

She said the school board needs to continue to focus on school security, give teachers and students tools they need, including textbooks, and re-evaluate the amount of non-state mandated tests students are taking.

Sanderson said too much testing can have a negative impact on learning.

She also said creative ways need to be found to secure more funding for the school system.

“I think the county will have a great opportunity to elect a very strong and knowledgeable board to serve the county and support Superintendent Griffin,”  Thornton said.

She said the board needs to focus on finances.

“We can not make decisions about staff, programs, textbooks, etc if we are not clear on exactly how much money we have,” Thornton said.

Other candidates could not be reached for comment.