Strong announces candidacy for House District 49

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Donna Strong has announced her candidacy for the representative for House District 49.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Chilton, Bibb, and Shelby counties as the Representative for House District 49,” she said.

“My husband, Russell, is retired from the US Navy and is also a teacher. We have three wonderful children, all a product of Alabama’s great public schools. Shelby is 19, Sophie is 17 and James is 15.

Strong is a resident of Alabaster. She graduated from Chelsea High School before going on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University.

She then earned a doctorate from Penn State University.

“I have spent the last 29 years as an educator,” she said. “Teaching and touching the lives of my students has been my passion for nearly three decades. Now is the time for me to take my dreams for a better tomorrow to Montgomery. Of the many hopes I have for our future, I feel public education and mental health are urgent issues that legislators must address.”

Strong believes that our public education system should be our “top priority,” as one might expect of a long-time educator.

“A safe campus and a meaningful curriculum should come before standardized test scores and newspaper rankings,” she said. “The teachers, bus drivers, instructional aides, child nutrition staff and custodians that work tirelessly to make classrooms safe and meaningful spaces should be valued for their commitment and dedication.

“Schools today are also serving more students with special needs than ever before. Our special-needs students deserve the best, and our special education teachers must be provided the extra staff and support needed to effectively meet increasing expectations.”

Strong supports expanding services for those suffering from mental health issues.

“It is time for mental health management to make it to the forefront of the Alabama political agenda,” she said. “Too many Alabama families are touched by mental health issues or substance abuse disorders. Our prisons should not be our primary mental health treatment facilities. We must invest in a wider array of services and support for those suffering with conditions such as depression, bipolar disorders, opioid addiction or alcoholism.

“Schools are certainly seeing a dramatic increase in the number of students struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, our suicide rate is greater than our homicide rate and greater than the national average.

“As the representative for House District 49, I will carry the message to Montgomery that a renewed commitment to public education and a greater investment in mental health issues are promises we can no longer deny the families of Alabama.”

You can learn more about Strong at VoteDrStrong.org.

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