Decision 2022: Four candidates vying for JCPS District 1 seat
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - JCPS District 1 covers West Louisville and downtown, and four people are on the ballot for the seat.
Diane Porter, a lifelong educator and current chair of the board, has represented the district for the last 12 years.
One of the main things she wants to accomplish is continuing to work on the new school assignment plan. The board unanimously voted for the change earlier this year.
It could dramatically impact where students attend school, especially in West Louisville.
“So it’s very important to me, as sitting on the board that took the vote, that I sit on the board as the work begins, because now it is really very critical that we get this correct and move forward together,” Porter said.
Part of that plan includes new schools in the west part of town. A new middle and a new elementary school are already set to open there next year.
Ahamara Brewster is the program coordinator at Skillz4Life, a child development and wellness center.
She said the board needs a millennial like her so they can understand kids better. She also wants more organizations inside the school building.
“We’re all stakeholders when it comes to our children’s education so the community should be within the school,” Brewster said. “There are plenty of graduate programs, programs in general that we can partner with so when those children who have behavior issues, whatever those are whether home issues, self-esteem issues, hunger issues. Whatever those issues are, we can partner with people in the community.”
She also said metal detectors would help with school safety.
Charlie Bell also believes that the district might need metal detectors to deal with guns on campus.
She was a charter school principal, but now she runs a program for young adults and teens at Goodwill.
“First, we have to deal with the discipline issue and make JCPS more appealing to even come, to hire new teachers,” Bell said. “We have a lot of young teachers that want to come in, and to be able to retain them, I want to pair them with a mentoring program with older teachers that have the more experience.”
She said the problems in the district haven’t changed in decades and they need new solutions to move the district forward.
Carol Clark is a small business owner who has a passion for education.
You’ll see her on the ballot as Carol Travis-Clark.
She also believes metal detectors are a good fix for the schools, but she has some other ideas for keeping teachers in the district.
“One thing to retain them is to lighten their workload. I think our teachers are overworked,” Clark said. “Another aspect would be better pay, and I think we should stand by our teachers financially, emotionally.”
She said she would be a very hands-on board member, visiting schools and talking with principals to see what they need.
All the candidates were asked the same series of questions and you can find their full answers in the videos throughout this story.
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.