Editor’s note: This Q&A is one in a series that aims to allow voters to get to know candidates who are running in the Aug. 2 primary. Nooga.com sent questionnaires to candidates on the ballot. We will post responses as we get them.
Howard High School graduate and retired TVA employee Ann Pierre is seeking the District 5 school board seat in the upcoming nonpartisan race.
She’s a graduate of Howard High School, Tennessee State University, Tusculum University and the Eckerd Executive Management program, as well as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and vice chair of the judiciary board of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America.
Early voting for the Aug. 2 primaries is between July 13 and July 28.
If elected, what are your top priorities as a school board member?
My top priorities as a school board member are: (a) recognize teaching as a profession (b) support an environment that will promote learning and is an action item for the students, parents, teachers and other stakeholders (c) work to create a plan to improve the school buildings in which learning is to take place.
There has been a lot of discussion about equity in schools, do you think it’s an issue? Why or why not? What do you want to see happen to address it?
Equity is an issue and to me is better described as fair play.
If you watch a football game, you quickly learn that there are rules that are to be applied equally to both teams.
When one team gets a bad call the winner of the game can be decided by that missed call.
It is the same with our students. If each student does not receive a quality education the student will not reach his or her full potential.
I believe the school superintendent should seek models that are designed to deliver education to the student at his or her level and seek to strengthen early childhood education.
How do you believe a leader should handle people they don’t get along or agree with?
We often have different beliefs that cause misunderstandings, therefore, a leader should seek to understand the reason(s) a person holds a certain belief that is driving their decisions and start from that point of view to reveal the total picture.
Understanding is the best defense for confusion and the appearance of misunderstanding.
Why should residents vote for you and not one of your opponents?
I am the best candidate for the office because of the experience I have in administration, analysis, policy-making finance, management and budgeting.
I received a teaching certificate from the state of Tennessee after graduating from Tennessee State University. I addition, I have a master’s in organizational management from Tusculum University.
My experiences were gained while progressing to a senior manager position at the Tennessee Valley Authority, Community Development Credit Union and the Moderator/CEO of the national office of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America.
The experiences that I have and my education will enable me to work with diverse groups and make sound and viable decisions. Finally, my role as a mother and grandmother gives me an insight into effectively making decisions for the children.
At this time the board critically needs the expertise that I have gained over the years.
What is your personal motivation for running for this office and wanting to lead?
My personal motivation is to see a positive change in the students as they engage in learning, knowing that there is someone who cares and advocates for each student.
—What else do you want to share that we haven’t asked about?
When elected I will develop a working relationship with those individuals who make decisions concerning education. I will work with state representatives, county officials and fellow school board members to seek the best results for the 45,000 students of Hamilton County.