Four compete for Pershing’s Seat C

Four compete for Pershing’s Seat C

Four compete for Pershing’s Seat C

The questions came fast and furiously. Ann-Marie Fenner, Michael Hudson, Cindy Plummer and Barb Rackley are competing for Seat C on the Pershing County school board.

On Monday, May 7, three of the four candidates fielded questions from the public. Fenner, Plummer and Rackley participated in Candidates Night at the Community Center.

On Tuesday, May 15, the trio visited the Pershing County Senior Center.

“What would be your priorities as a board member?”

“Funding is always important,” said Plummer. “Keeping grant-funded programs like Project AWARE in place by finding other sources for them is a priority.”

“That’s mental health for our kids,” she explained. “We need the multi-tiered system of support. It’s a very difficult time for children today.”

After a teaching career spanning nearly four decades, Plummer recently retired as principal of PCMS.

Another of her priorities would be to keep a school resource officer (SRO) on campus, she said.

“I want to listen and learn,” said Barb Rackley. “I want to familiarize myself with the budget because I’m concerned with how we spend the money.”

“I am a retired customer service representative in the banking field,” continued Rackley. “I’m well aware of people and their money, and I know how close and tender it gets.”

“I have huge admiration for our school district making mental health a priority for our students,” replied Ann-Marie Fenner. “I gives me goosebumps. We need to look at the ways we can support people.”

“I like to learn so I’ll never stop learning, and the more I learn, the more I know I don’t know,” she said. The former Washoe School District counselor earned a Ph.D. in counselor education.

Do you see a school board member as a representative of the community or as a representative of the parents and students?

“I don’t think you can be on a school board and not represent all three of those entities,” said Fenner. “The bottom line is ‘what is best for our students?’”

“I want to represent all three,” said Rackley. “I do want to represent the community. They need answers to their questions especially if they don’t have kids in the school.”

“You want to have those blended and dovetailed together,” said Plummer. “The students are the bottom line. We want them to be successful. And we want the parents and community to support the district.”

“What is one area you perceive as a weakness in our school district that you would like to strengthen?”

“I think a possible weakness is communication between the community and school district,” said Rackley.

“A strength is we have an awesome group of teachers and students,” she added. “And the community is willing to support them.”

“Our parent involvement is fantastic,” said Fenner. “I’d like to see it grow even more.”

“I have questions about the school lunch program,” she continued. “I’m not running in guns blazing, but I’d like to have conversations with people.”

“One of the weaknesses is communication,” said Plummer. “Parents are sometimes intimidated to come to school because school wasn’t pleasant for them. We need to make them feel welcome.”

“The strength is our personnel,” said Plummer. “You can’t find better people anywhere in the world.”

What is your position on mandatory school uniforms?” asked Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert McDougal.

“That’s a tough question,” said Rackley. “I believe a dress code is necessary and needs to be enforced. I’d need to do more research on school uniforms.”

“I believe school uniforms are designed to level the playing field,” said Plummer. “But it doesn’t work. You need to look at the purpose behind it.”

“There are things we can do to shift what our students are placing value on,” said Fenner. “Bullying happens because people don’t value the correct thing in a person. They choose to see a thing on them instead of seeing the person.”

The primary election takes place on Tuesday, June 12. Early voting begins May 26. The primary will narrow the race from four school board candidates to two.

Two candidates for Seat C face off in the November general election.