School Board election produces close campaign - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School Board election produces close campaign

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July 10, 2006

Albany -- Three Seats on the Dougherty County Board of Education will be decided by the voters this year. One of the most hotly contested races is in South Albany, where two native sons are battling for the District Two School Board seat.

Incumbent Milton "June Bug" Griffin is facing a tough challenge from political newcomer Yaz Johnson in the District Two School Board Race.

A business owner, Johnson is running to bring change. Johnson said "I also have two kids that will soon be in the Dougherty County School system. I'm not really pleased at the way things are being run down there, and I feel I can make a difference."

 57 year old June Bug Griffin is busy campaigning. Griffin has represented District Two on the School Board for six years, and enjoys supporting children. Griffin said "I was raised up right here, and I've enjoyed serving the people here in my neighborhood. A while back I coached baseball for thirty something years, and I just enjoyed it to the fullest. I feel like I've got more experience dealing with our kids."

 A retired businessman, Griffin says he is proud of the growth of magnet schools and better enforced enrollment while he has been on the school board. Griffin said "91 percent of our kids have missed less than 15 days a year, and Jim, that's something to say right there."

Johnson says more needs to be done to get parents involved in their children's education. Johnson said "You have undisciplined kids, you have low test grades, you have a lack of parent participation in the school PTA meetings or the school board meetings. So I want to bridge that gap and try to make a positive difference."

Their signs are on many corners and yards in South Albany, in what could be a close vote. There is no Republican opposition, so the July 18th Democratic nomination ballot will decide this School Board election.

Both Johnson and Griffin grew up in Albany, and graduated from Dougherty County Schools. Now both say they are running for school board, to make things better for today's students.

Two other school board seats are up for election, District 4 held by Emily Jean McAfee and District 6 held by Michael Windom.

There will be a Candidate's Forum for all the Dougherty County School Board Candidates July 11th at 7 PM at the Government Center.

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