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School board prepares to welcome new member

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School board prepares to welcome new member

School board members discuss matters during a meeting.

School board members discuss matters during a meeting.

NWA Democratic-Gazette / Andy Shupe

School board members discuss matters during a meeting.

NWA Democratic-Gazette / Andy Shupe

NWA Democratic-Gazette / Andy Shupe

School board members discuss matters during a meeting.

Laney Hoggatt, Co Editor-in-Chief

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Typically, when students think of the School board, they think of the people who make decisions whenever something comes up that causes issues about a school in the district. For FHS, those times have been during the softball Title IX issue and, recently, with the investigation of the superintendent. However, the Fayetteville School Board does more than deal with district problems.

The school board’s job is to public’s voice in public education and governing by citizens for what the public schools need and what the community wants according to the National School Board Association. The school board also is in charge of including the communities’ ideas about what certain grades should learn. They are expected to make sure education is a priority and that the school district has enough money to operate. The school board only has control over school staff and superintendent. They cannot make policies because that is the superintendent and school staff’s job.

“The primary job of the school board is to hire and evaluate the job performance of the superintendent,” said Fayetteville School Board candidate Keaton Smith. “We also oversee the budget and have final approval [of] personnel matters.”

The school board has seven members: Justin Eichmann, Traci Farrah, Nika Waitsman, Susan Heil, Tim Hudson, Megan Hurley, and Bob Maranto. Eichmann is the school board president. Farrah is the vice president. The secretary and treasurer is Waitsman. Heil recently announced that she will not be running for re-election this year when her term expires.

“The school board is accountable to the general public because school board members are elected officials,” Smith said. “The school board is really the link between the district and public accountability.”

Anyone can become a school board member as long as they live in the district, be a citizen, be of the age of 18, and a registered voter. Smith announced his candidacy for Heil’s position. Smith is a vice president of IberiaBank. He wants to run because he has ideas for the school district. Both his parents were educators.

“Public education is an integral part of any community,” Smith said. “I have a lot to learn, but some of the issues I am interested in include access to training for skilled trades for kids that do not go to college, closing the achievement gap, healthy and delicious food options, STEAM, school siting decisions, entrepreneurship education, and anything related to sustainability.”

Smith believes it is important for the community to be involved in the school board.

“Education is a fundamental, critically, important part of any community, and our society in general,” Smith said. “If we want to solve big problems (poverty, hunger, war, climate change, equity issues, sustainable economic development, etc.) education has to be part of the solution, and there are plenty of big problems that need solving.”

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About the Writer
Laney Hoggatt, Co Editor-in-Chief

I am a senior. This is my third year reporting and second year being an editor. I typically write features articles. I am the choir president and am in...

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