Candidate for School Board President: Joe Buck - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/30/06

Candidate for School Board President: Joe Buck

Joe Buck Joe Buck

Five candidates are in the race to be President of the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education, but how much do you really know about the candidates? Each day this week WTOC, will highlight their ideas what they would like to see change.

WTOC met with each of the candidates, starting with Joe Buck, who recently retired from Armstrong Atlantic State University.

He spent 38 years working for AASU and now wants a change.

Buck said after hearing people talk poorly about the public schools he felt that he needed to do something and that something is run for school board president.

Thirty-eight years ago, Buck arrived at Armstrong Atlantic State University. He planned to stay for only two years, but those two years came and went and Buck stayed on.

"Students have given my life meaning," he said.

That is the main reason Buck is running for BOE president.

"I sort of think this is the next step and I think my way of giving back to the community," said Buck.

Buck said every time one kid is lost, the system suffers, and that's why he put together a four-point plan.

Point one is accountability. Now that ESPLOST has been approved, Buck wants to make sure the money is going to the right places.

"We have to be tremendously accountable for that and I pledge that there be an oversight committee so the money spent by the taxpayers is going to be spent," said Buck.

The second point is student achievement.

"We've got to help them know how to achieve so each student," said Buck. "[School superintendent] Dr. [Thomas] Lockamy said all means all, every student needs to achieve to their greatest potential."

Safety is Buck's third point. He said with the recent rash of school shootings across the country, he wants better plans in place to protect the students.

"I want to work with CEMA, and that doesn't cover locking down a school if there's a threat, but what do we do as a system to make sure our kids are safe?" said Buck.

His final point is responsibility. Buck said it is the community's responsibility to take care of the children.

"We all pay taxes and have responsibility to help every student develop," he said.

A former educator, Buck said he is ready for a new challenge. "Those that know me know that I am an honest person and know when I say I am going to do something that I am going to work hard to do that."

On Wednesday night at 7pm, you can hear from all five candidates for yourself in person. All five are taking part in a debate at 7pm at the Coastal Heritage Center. Sonny Dixon and Dawn Baker will be moderating the event.

If you'd like to contribute a question for Wednesday's forum, click this link: Ask the Candidates.

Reported by: Brooke Kelley, bkelley@wtoc.com

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