The District 2 race for the Columbia County Board of Education pits incumbent Mildred "Mickie" Blackburn against political newcomer Alma "Sissy" Hobbs.
In her eight years on the school board, Blackburn said she's supported the needs of students and teachers.
"I've always been a big advocate for teachers," said Blackburn, who served as a teacher for 22 years at Evans Middle School.
She hopes to continue helping teachers, especially at the elementary level, find collaborative planning time.
Blackburn said she regularly visits schools and speaks with the faculty and staff to learn what they need in order to educate students.
A primary focus, Blackburn said, is raising the county's graduation rate, which hovers at about 80 percent.
"That's one of the things we really have to work toward," she said.
Hobbs believes Columbia County school officials are too secretive.
"We're left in the dark about so much that goes on up there," she said.
If she wins on Tuesday, Hobbs said she wants to create a more open board.
"I just want to make the school system better," she said. "I think the board needs to be more accountable."
Hobbs was fired from her job as a school bus driver last year. She is currently suing the board for wrongful termination, claiming she was discriminated against because of union ties.
Hobbs is the Columbia County chapter president of the Transport Workers Union of America, which represents bus drivers.
Despite suing the system she wishes to represent, Hobbs believes her position as union president will serve her well on the board.
"I'm learning a lot about the political process and learning labor law for public employees," she said.
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