Donna Enis is on the ballot for District 1 seat on the Pickens County Board of Education run-off election on August 11, 2020. Voting is already underway and candidate Donna Enis, who is currently serving on the board, has answered some questions to help voters decide how to cast their ballots.
Why do you feel like you are the most qualified for this position?
I am a graduate of Pickens High School. I spent 30 years as a teacher and coach, educating and nurturing hundreds of young people prior to my retirement in 2017. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education from North Georgia College; a master’s degree in Health and Physical Education from West Georgia College and an Education Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College.
List your qualifications/experience that is applicable to this position.
Last July, I was offered the opportunity to fill the remaining term of a vacant position on the BOE. In the short time I have been a board member, I have found it to be a complex job and a responsibility I do not take lightly. As a retired educator, my experience helps me understand the role the board plays in the achievement and education of students, while allowing me the opportunity to make a positive impact and give back to the community in a meaningful way.
What do you want the voters to know about you that will help them make a decision?
Being a member of the Board of Education is a commitment I take very seriously. To be a well informed and effective board member, you have to be willing to study and understand the complexities of the decisions the board must make. If elected to the position, I pledge to continue to work collaboratively with the other members of the board, together with Dr. Townsend, to lead our system and provide opportunities for all staff to continue to grow and develop in their positions, which forms the foundation of an excellent school system. Working together, we can focus on making strategic decisions that will help our school system thrive even in the face of challenges. As a former teacher, I understand that education is not a one size fits all approach. It is our duty to offer diverse opportunities that enrich each student, from our youngest learners to our high schoolers. At the end of the day, we want to produce graduates that not only have knowledge learned in the classroom, but also a confident, thoughtful and insightful young person ready to move on to the next phase of their life; whether that is college, technical school or as a productive member of the workforce.
What are some issues in the Board of Education would you like to improve on?
First of all, no one could have predicted the events that have taken place these last months. We are fortunate that Pickens County schools are financially stable and carry no debt, but this unprecedented event will definitely impact the school system’s budget and future planning. Currently we are looking at a cut of approximately 10%. Working with the administration and superintendent, moving forward, my commitment is to keep the maximum amount of money we can going directly to the education of the students. These cuts will first come from areas that will have the least impact on the day to day classroom instruction — without resorting to teacher furloughs.
Secondly, the system’s most critical goals are built around providing a quality education to every child in a safe environment where learning can take place, whether that is in a face-to-face environment or a virtual experience. As our community grows and changes and faces challenges, we as a school system, have to make adaptations. I have witnessed firsthand, the positive relationship that develops when teachers, students and parents work together, which reaffirms that we must continue to equip teachers and staff with the support and tools they need to help students succeed to their full potential. It goes without saying, parents know and want what is best for their children and their opinion and input is an important part of the school system’s success. If the board is committed to give teachers and students all of the resources we possibly can, I feel parents will work alongside us to accomplish our goals.
In thinking about the future, as in any system, there is always room for improvement. I will continue to work diligently to support the school system as we continue to find innovative ways to provide strong academics and extra-curricular activities that meet the needs of each student.
How can voters contact you with questions?
List your social media.
SEE WHO IS ON YOUR BALLOT AT MY VOTER PAGE.