Naomi Buckner, the District 4 representative on the Muscogee County School Board, plans to seek re-election for a fifth four-year term.
Buckner, a special-education teacher in Chattahoochee County, told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email, “I believe that I have been contributing to the work of the board and I want to continue that important work. I have a vast amount of educational experience and I believe that experience has enabled me to make good decisions and to impact other board members’ decisions in discussions of issues in teaching and learning.
“I have been teaching for more than thirty years, from Pre-K to 12th. I work with students, teachers, and parents daily and I see the challenges that schools face firsthand. I am committed to education and also to the MCSD, its mission and vision. I was born in Muscogee County and I went through the school system, graduating from G.W. Carver High School. I received a good education and I was prepared for college. I want the students in Muscogee County to have a similar experience.”
Qualifying for the 2018 local nonpartisan races runs from 9 a.m. March 5 until noon March 9. The deadline to register to vote in those elections is April 23. Advance in-person voting will be April 30 through May 18 in the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way. May 22 will be Election Day for those races.
In a joint announcement Jan. 23 at the All On Georgia website, District 2 representative John Thomas wrote that he was speaking for Frank Myers of District 8 when he said they won’t run for a second four-year term. Myers, a self-employed lawyer, and Thomas, an IRS agent, have been the nine-member board’s most outspoken critics of the Muscogee County School District administration.
The other seats up for election this year on the board are the at-large seat, held by chairwoman Kia Chambers, a former teacher and now the qualifying broker for Prestige Property Brokers, and District 6, held by vice chairman Mark Cantrell, CEO of Action Buildings. The Ledger-Enquirer has reported that Chambers and Cantrell will seek re-election.
The other candidates for the board this year, previously reported by the Ledger-Enquirer, are:
▪ Robert Mathias Roth in District 6. He is a retired U.S. Army colonel and now works from his home as director of government business development for Vertex Solutions, a learning development and services company based out of Urbana, Ill.
▪ Philip Schley in District 8. He is a retired urologist and served on the board for 21 years (1972-81 and 1998-2010), including as chairman for nine years.
▪ David Merlin Wright in District 8. He retired from the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office as a captain and is a former Stowers Elementary School substitute teacher and aide.
Buckner was first elected as the MCSD board’s District 4 representative in 2002, when she edged 12-year incumbent Linda Parker by 170 votes. Buckner was Parker’s campaign manager until she tried to unseat Parker in 1998 but lost by only 51 votes. In 2006, they campaigned against each other a third time, and Buckner won by a much larger margin, approximately 20 percent. Buckner didn’t have a challenger on the ballot in 2010 or 2014.