Lexington’s first school board’s candidates take part in forum

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Out of 115 school boards across the state, 112 are elected. This year, Lexington City Schools will make the number grow to 113.​

For the first time in about 80 years, school board members will be elected, rather than appointed. The candidates, 15, showed up to a forum at Lexington Middle School Thursday night to pitch themselves to voters.

"I saw there were changes that needed to be made and I thought, what better way to do it than step up to the plate and take charge," candidate Jeremy Bowers said.

In the past, Lexington City Council appointed nine members to the Lexington City Board of Education. Earlier this year, the council voted to reduce the number of school board members from nine to seven. Six members will represent the six wards in Lexington, while the extra seat represents a school ward that sits just outside of the Lexington city limits.

"I like the idea of an election, that's the American thing to do," Lewie Phillips said.

Phillips is a former city council member and current teacher. He is in favor of allowing voters to choose the next school board and showed up to the forum to hear their platforms, but is concerned other voters won't take the same opportunity to make an informed decision.

"If they don't have children involved or any interest in the children in the community, it's just another general election," Phillips said.​

School system employee Garrett Holloway said he attended the forum to find out what candidates have done for children in the community in the past and what they plan to do for them going forward.

"It's an extremely big deal,"​ Holloway said. "I want to make sure that the people we do elect have the best interest of our students at heart​."