The Richmond Register

Education

October 19, 2012

Madison County School Board candidate profiles -- Part 1

(Continued)

RICHMOND —

Mary J. Renfro (4th District)

Mary Renfro is a foster parent and the married mother of two daughters in Madison County.

There are several changes she would like to make if elected to school board, she said, such as shorter bus routes, after-school programs for middle and elementary schools and all-day kindergarten.

“Surrounding counties such as Garrard and Fayette already have all-day kindergarten, we should too,” Renfro said.

Renfro also would like to see better technology options such as the use of iPads instead of paper, she said.

Beth Brock (5th District)

Beth Brock joined the board in July after the early resignation of Betsy Bohannon in June.

A longtime school volunteer, Brock served four terms on B. Michael Caudill Middle School’s site-based decision-making council, of which she was vice chair. She also has served two terms on the White Hall Elementary’s school council and has been president and vice president of that school’s parent-teacher organization.

Brock also participated in writing the policies and procedures for Caudill when it opened in 2009, she said.  

“I'm involved with the schools daily and my experience gives me good insight,” Brock said, whose two children attend county schools.

“My kids have received an excellent education and I could not be more please,” she said.

Brock said she will represent her district by listening to the thoughts and concerns of parents, teachers and administration so she can make “informed decisions on what is best for kids at all times.”

She wants to be fiscally conservative while ensuring the district provides for children, said Brock, who voted against a proposed tax increase in August.

Debbie Secchio (5th District)

Debbie Secchio moved to Richmond from New York five years ago, where she served on a district-wide site-based council and was a PTA board member, she said.

“My main concerns are that we do what counts with less  money. We have to re-prioritize what we are spending money on,” Secchio said.

If someone was to look at the district's assessment scores for the past five years, she said, “almost every school in our district has fallen significantly.”

The solution to raising test scores is to reconnect with teachers, she said. “Teachers have gone several years without a raise, yet it's the teacher that will raise scores and academics.”

Secchio sees a need for better pre-school options and full-day kindergarten, she said, instead of spending money on stadiums and administration.

“We need to stop spending money foolishly and prioritize better,” said Secchio, who is endorsed by the Madison County Tax Watch.

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Education
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