Incumbent Mildred Blackburn said her experience as an educator and board member give her the qualifications for the job.
Challenger Andy Ezell said his family ties to education, his role as a parent, school council member and PTO president make him the best person to fill the District 4 school board seat.
Both will square off Tuesday when voters go to the polls to decide who will fill that seat for the next four years.
Voters will be picking from the same two names that were on the 1988 ballot when both candidates went head-to-head for the first time.
Unopposed again, Regina Buccafusco's votes for her District 1 seat will be a show of support.
Their's are the only two districts up for re-election. Columbia County's five School Board trustees serve staggered four-year terms.
Ezell, 40, of Martinez, has been a resident of Columbia County for the past 14 years. He is a senior construction coordinator at the Savannah River Site. Ezell has been Westmont Elementary PTO president for the past three years and is on its school council.
"I still feel like I felt before," he said. "We need to have somebody in there that has kids in the system now - I have three children in the system and my wife teaches - somebody who's aware of the day to day things that happen," Ezell said.
"It's easy to make decisions without realizing how these decisions affect those within the system. I'll be able to get immediate feedback."
Blackburn has been a resident of Columbia County for 30 years, and has taught in Columbia County Schools for 22 years as a social studies and language arts teacher at Evans Middle School. She is currently completing her first term in office and is vice chairwoman of the school board.
"I feel that I have the experience to continue as a member of the board," Blackburn said. "We've completed one school and are building two new schools. We have upgraded all of our schools with floors, new roofs, windows and paint. Our new career technology program is working toward industry certification in several areas, and I think this is one of the best things we've ever done."
The two candidates clashed recently during a public forum over the issue of an at-large elected chairman. Earlier this year, an overwhelming majority of Republican voters said they'd like the board to shift from an appointed chairman to an at-large elected position. Ezell said the issue is one of the most important facing the board.
"(People) want to have a voice in who is running the schools," he said.
"Not everyone got to vote on that," Blackburn responded.
But Ezell said he'd like for everyone to vote on the issue - in a binding referendum.
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