Incumbent Julia Burns of Wiseman will square off against Rick Womack of Franklin in the race for Position 5 on the Izard County Consolidated School District Board of Education Sept. 16.
Burns has two children, Justin, an 11-grader, and Jeremy, an 8th-grader, both students at ICC High School.
Burns is the widow of Jimmy Rex Burns.
She is employed by Cone Realty where she has served for over 11 years as office manager.
Burns has lived in Wiseman on the family farm for 18 years and raises cattle and horses.
She has served a three-year term on the ICC Board. She is involved in school activities and served as president of the school board during the 2001-02 school year. She is currently serving as secretary.
Burns said her experience on the board will be an asset to the district.
Her main concern is the children in the school district and what is best for students.
Womack, father of one son, Brandon, said he thinks it is necessary for the quality of education to be topnotch. He said he thinks the current school board has shown they have lost an open attitude toward the public concerning new facilities, parental concerns and the general concerns of residents within the district.
He said the board needs to discuss major issues with the public before a vote is placed on a ballot.
Womack said he will take a stand to provide an open, more responsive board and give the voice back to residents. He said he would include all of the communities in the district when making decisions.
He said his goal is to find new ways of enhancing children's education, and favors keeping class size small.
Another goal he discussed is to lower the millage vote. He said the board needs to listen to residents because they are paying school taxes.
He is a 1985 grade of Melbourne High School and has lived in Franklin for seven years.
Womack has worked for the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation for 18 years as a bridge crew leader.
Matthew Orf of Oxford, is running for uncontested Position 6 on the Izard County Consolidated School District Board of Education.
Voters in the ICC School District will also have a chance to oppose or support a rezoning issue. The official ballot will include:
Single-member zoning proposal. This proposal is to elect school district board of directors from single-member zones. Presently, two members of the board of directors (one each from the two former school districts) are elected to three-year terms by all voters of the district annually. If this proposal is approved, the six-members of the board of directors shall be elected to three-year terms and voters may only vote for the member from their zone every three years. If approved, the Izard County Election Commission shall establish boundaries for the election of directors for the school board based on substantially equal population.
Calico Rock School District Board of Education has one contested race between incumbent John Belken and Danny Moser.
Belken is a commissioner on the State Parole Board in Little Rock.
Belken's wife, Jean, is a registered nurse in the Army Reserves currently stationed in Landstuhl, Germany. She is also employed by the Medical Center of Calico Rock.
Belken's son, David, 20, is in the 805th Military Police Army Reserves Unit currently stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
His younger son, Jonathan, 17, is a junior at Calico Rock High School.
Belken has served on the board for the past five years.
He said education reform is the biggest issue facing schools.
If re-elected he said he wants to help make the district the best by making sure students receive a good education with top instructors. He wants to see continual salary increases for teachers and non-certified staff, he said.
The present board works together as a team with very little bickering with decision making, he said.
"I want to be a listening ear to people in the community," he said.
Moser and his family have lived in Calico Rock for 22 years. He is president and CEO of First National Bank of Izard County.
His wife, Connie, has been a teacher for 28 years. She is currently employed at both the high school and elementary schools in Calico Rock. She is in charge of the resource room for special education needs.
Moser has two daughters; both are graduates from Calico Rock. Ashley, 24, is a 2000 graduate from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro campus.
Kasey, 19, is currently a student at ASU in Jonesboro.
Moser said his main goal is to prevent consolidation of the schools.
He said he would like to see an increase in teacher salaries in order to obtain good teachers. Area schools are losing teachers to other schools because of low salaries, he added.
"I feel like my financial background gives me a lot of insight on school and budgeting issues," he said. Moser and his wife have been involved in school and community activities most of their lives.
Moser said he thinks it is in the best interest of the community to have members on the board who do not have children attending the school; a board member is more apt to make an unbiased decision if he does not have a child in the school, he said.
He has a bachelor of science degree in education.
Moser also has a banking degree from Banking School of the South from Louisiana State University.
Calico Rock School District voters will vote for or against an increase in school millage tax.
The ballot reads: 43.0 mills school tax. This represents a change from previous years. The total tax levy proposed includes the uniform rate of tax required under Amendment 74. 25 mills for maintenance and operation of schools which includes a required increase of 4.5 mills to satisfy the uniform rate of tax required under Amendment 74, 0 mills for dedicated maintenance and operation millage (capital outlay/current expenditures) dedicated for purpose authorized by law and 18 mills for debt service previously voted as a continuing debt service tax pledged for the retirement of existing bonded indebtedness. The district may use surplus revenues produced each year by debt service millage for other purpose. Under amendment 74, the total tax levy will increase by the required amount automatically.
Danny Taylor of Melbourne is running for the uncontested position on the Melbourne School District Board of Education.
Melbourne voters will have a chance to vote on the school millage tax. The official ballot will read:
School tax (state and local) of 30.35 mills.
This tax, if approved, will be set aside to meet the proposed budget of expenditures made public by the Board of Directors of Melbourne School District No. 20 of Izard County, Arkansas as follows: 25.12 mills for maintenance and operation of the schools and 5.23 mills for debt service previously voted as a continuing levy pledged for the retirement of existing indebtedness. The 5.23 debt services mill previously voted will be a continuing levy for debt service until the retirement of a proposed bond issue of $1,350,000, which will run for approximately 13 years and which will be issued for the purpose of refunding outstanding bonds of the district and complying with Amendment 74. Surplus revenues produced each year by debt service millage may be used by the district for other school purposes. The proposed total tax levy is the same as the existing total tax levy.
Jeff Mynatt is running for Mount Pleasant School District Board of Education.
Dr. George Jackson of Cherokee Village will face Danny Seward of Hardy in the race for a three-year unexpired term on the Highland School District Board of Education in Sharp County's only contested school board race. The school elections will be held Sept. 16.
Jackson and Seward are running for Old Hardy District Position 1.
Seward is a 1983 graduate of Highland High School where he took business and math courses and was recognized for outstanding achievement. He has been an employee of Town and Country and Price Chopper supermarkets for over 21 years.
Seward is married to Melinda Park Seward, a 1985 graduate of Highland, and they have two children currently enrolled in the Highland School District: ninth-grader Cody and first-grader Candace.
Seward said he believes in the worth of all children. He said he can serve the entire Highland School District as an effective school board member. "(I have) a sincere desire to work with all parents and school personnel to continue the high standards already evident in the local educational system," he said.
Seward said he wants to work for continued progress in the Highland schools. "New challenges will arise, and I believe they can be met with sensible action," he added.
Jackson graduated from Wooddale High School in Memphis, then earned a bachelor of arts degree in zoology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1977. He went on to earn his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1983, followed by three years of post-doctoral residency training in Birmingham, Ala.
He married Cary Owen in 1983. They moved to Sharp County in 1986, and Dr. Jackson has practiced medicine and served on the medical staff of Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System since then.
The Jacksons' two children, Emma and Ben, are in third grade and kindergarten, respectively, at Cherokee Elementary School.
"The Highland schools have done a very good job educating the young people of our community," Jackson said. "I want to contribute in any way possible to the continued advancement of the quality of education we offer." He said he would like to see more advanced placement courses in math, science and language to better prepare Highland graduates for college.
"I'm a full-fledged Rebel sports fan," Jackson said. "And I also want to expand the athletic opportunities for the young women in our schools, as well as improve facilities for track and field and baseball to maximize the number of participants."
He said a better educated local populace will strengthen the business climate in the community and create jobs. "Then our children won't have to move away in order to get the challenging and rewarding jobs which they want and deserve," Jackson said.
Also running for the Highland School Board are incumbents Dawana Goings (Old Hardy Position 2) and Sandra Murphy (Old Ash Flat Position 2). Both are four-year terms.
Donald Simmons is running unopposed for re-election to the Cave City School Board for a five-year term.
Incumbent Jeff Eddy is unopposed in his bid for the Evening Shade School District for a five-year term.
Stephanie Chaps is seeking a five-year term on the Williford School Board.
Jim Rutledge is seeking re-election to the Williford School Board for a one-year unexpired term.
No candidate filed for a four-year unexpired term position on the Williford School Board.