Former educator and retired U.S. Army Ranger Todd Robinson is a candidate for the Muscogee County School Board.
Robinson, 55, has been a juvenile corrections officer at the Aaron Cohn Regional Youth Detention Center in Columbus since January 2015.
In emailed answers to the Ledger-Enquirer’s questions, Robinson explained why he thinks the voters of District 5 should elect him.
“Everything begins with education,” he said. “In order to enhance economic growth, we must first educate, empower and equip our kids to enter a global market. As a board member, I will bring collaboration, teamwork and respect back to the board. My priorities are academic success, support of teachers and staff and the responsible distribution of taxpayer money.”
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Asked what concerns him most about the school district and how he suggests it should be solved, Robinson said, “I believe school safety is paramount. I want to ensure that anti-bullying practices are enforced and our children can learn in a safe environment. To do this, we must make sure parents understand the anti-bullying policy and consequences, ensure the zero tolerance policy is enforced and support bus drivers who transport our kids because they are an extension of the school campus.
“Other ideas as it relates to safety include school resource officers at middle schools and creating a truancy policy by working with the Columbus Police Department, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and the Muscogee County Marshal’s Office. I think no student under the age of 18 should be allowed to walk the streets during school hours, and we need to hold parents accountable for their child’s attendance.”
Robinson added, “I believe there are those who instruct and there are those who teach but the ones who leave the most valuable impression are those who inspire.”
According to the bio he emailed the Ledger-Enquirer, Robinson was born and raised in Thomasville. He graduated from Thomas County’s Central High School in 1979, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army and went through basic training at Fort Benning.
He earned the Ranger tab in 1986, attended the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School and graduated from the U.S. Army First Sergeant’s Course at Fort Bliss, Texas. He completed Airborne School, the U.S. Army Pathfinder Course and Air Assault School. He is a master parachutist and earned the expert infantryman’s badge. He retired with honor from the U.S. Army in 1999 with the rank of first sergeant.
Robinson’s college degrees are all from Troy University, an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in applied science while on active duty and a master’s degree in human resources management after he retired.
From 2008-14, Robinson was the Army JROTC senior instructor at Stewart County High School. From 2007-14, he was an adjunct instructor at the University of Phoenix in Columbus.
Robinson worked for five years in the Columbus Fire & EMS Department. In a resolution from Columbus Council, he was recognized along with the crew of Engine 2 for saving the life of a 5-month-old on Sept. 5, 2000, while responding to a 911 emergency call. Robinson used lifesaving techniques he learned in the EMT program at Columbus Technical College to restore the infant’s breathing.
His community involvement includes being a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the Georgia Association of Educators, the Disabled American Veterans, the 100 Black Men of Columbus Inc., and First African Baptist Church.
He lists his favorite books as the Bible, “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson and “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.
His wife, Cheryl Renee, is a news anchor at WTVM. His son was educated in the Muscogee County School District and graduated from Shaw High School in 2007.
“I was involved in his academic success and developed a positive relationship with his teachers,” Robinson said.
Robinson qualified as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He lost the Democratic primary election in a four-way race to Michelle Nunn.