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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2020
Contact: Amy Smith – hcfcpe@gmail.com

The Hamilton County Fund for Children and Public Education, a political action committee affiliated with the Hamilton County Education Association (HCEA), has identified four Public Education Champions who are running for Hamilton County School Board.

The committee has identified Steven Vickers, Marco Perez, Tiffanie Robinson, and Joe Wingate as Public Education Champions. These candidates have also received the support of the HCEA local school association representatives through a scheduled vote. The candidates have demonstrated through questionnaires, interviews, and in some cases experience on the school board, that they are dedicated to achieving positive and equitable outcomes for Hamilton County students.

“It is important to have a school board that considers all constituents: students, parents, teachers, and community members,” added committee president Tracy Davis.

“The future of public education in Hamilton County depends greatly on our local elected officials supporting our public schools and prioritizing the best interests of all Hamilton County children,” said Jeanette Omarkhail, president of HCEA. “After interviewing candidates, we believe we have endorsed the candidates that will be the strongest advocate for our students and educators.”

Steven Vickers, who is challenging incumbent Rhonda Thurman for the District 1 seat, is a lifelong resident of Soddy Daisy, TN. Steven is an active member of District 1 and has volunteered at school and sporting events all across his district. With his degrees in conflict management and organizational management, Steven Vickers brings collaborative skills and an ability to communicate ideas clearly. In his words, “I see the school system through the lens of a parent, a teacher, a student, and a member of the community. I believe that this is something that is valuable to bring to the school board so that all the dynamics are taken into consideration when making critical decisions.”

Marco Perez is running against Tom Decosimo in the open race in District 2. Perez is a parent of a public school graduate and two current students in Hamilton County Schools. He brings his strong public advocacy involvement in the areas of small business development, housing, and support of our immigrant populations. Additionally, he brings a valuable background in finance as a business consultant and small business owner, along with his board experience as a Board Chair and Board Treasurer for CNE and La Paz Chattanooga. In his words, “My involvement in the community, as well as my business and finance knowledge, give me the skills to greatly contribute to the strategy, stewardship, and support of our school district.”

Tiffanie Robinson, who is finishing her first term on the school board, is running unopposed in District 4.  Tiffanie continues to create relationships with the community and elected officials. She has shown her passion for improving policies that benefit students and employees. 

Joe Wingate from District 7 is currently the chair of the school board and has a firm grasp on educational policy and a clear vision for seeing the district through the current pandemic. Joe has shown strong leadership during his time as chair and continues to foster a positive relationship between the board and district administration. 

The committee reached out to Rhonda Thurman, Tom Decosimo, and Debbi Meyers, but all three declined to participate.

Early voting starts July 17 and the election day is August 6th. These are non-partisan races, so they will appear no matter which ballot you choose for the primary. Eligible voters may request an absentee ballot at the Hamilton County Election Commission website.