Johnson announces candidacy

Published 1:36 pm Thursday, October 21, 2010

I am Bonnie Sanders Johnson, and I am announcing my candidacy for District 2 school board member of the Pearl River County School District.

I am a 1987 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry. I am married to Ernest Johnson and we have a daughter who attends the PRC School District. I have worked 21 years at Stennis Space Center and am employed by Lockheed Martin as a safety engineer staff.

I am the appointed PRC District 2 school board member and have served since November 2009 without accepting pay from the school district. This has saved the taxpayers approximately $2,400. I have supported several board motions including recalling the 2010-2011 school budget that saw millage reduced from about 5.11 mills to 3.66 mills; allowing parents the right to have input into their child’s career path curriculum choices, and establishing performance accountability goals and objectives. This year has provided me the opportunity to serve you while making important decisions involving PRC school accreditation, financial issues like the proposed FEMA building.

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It has become very clear to me that the most basic need of the PRC School District is to get back to  good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.

My “Common Sense” approach includes a balanced budget by pending within the means of the allocated funding so the taxpayers and students get the most for tax dollars; performance accountability; board policy  worded so board, administration, teachers, citizens, parents, and students can understand; school uniforms that support requirements of school, parents and students and not merely a military dress code; highly qualified positions that offer teacher supplements for math, biology, English, physics, chemistry, and other subjects that are hard to fill because our students and our county must have these teachers if we are committed to meeting the needs of our children and getting more companies to locate in our community, and support an open door policy for citizens, administrators, teachers, school staff, parents and students to speak out when problems or issues arise, and this should be done without fear of retaliation.

The PRC School District should be run as a business and the business of the school is to educate our children. It is my belief that our nation is lagging in science, technology, engineering and math, endangering America’s competitiveness in the global economy. We need to prepare students for college and have them ready for entry level classes without having to retake math, science and English classes causing an extra financial and time burden on parents and students. Not all students select college so our vocational program needs to be revamped to adequately provide training for today’s graduates that opt for job training or entry directly into the workforce.

Parents and citizens need to become more involved by attending school board meetings.  We need more parents and teachers willing to ask: “Why are we not hiring a band director?” “How can my child attend college without these accredited classes?” “Why do we have outdated vocational classes?” Until the recent board change and my support for an open door policy, these questions would have never been addressed.

Voters in District 2, I ask for your vote and support. The most valued asset in this county is our children. Let’s get back to common sense and move the PRC School District forward.