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A few weeks ago, Montgomery County commissioner and Clarksville Councilmember Jason Knight posted a call-to-action on Facebook. He said this coming election cycle, next year, we will need you all who are interested in public office to run for the school board.

He also said, “We need fresh ideas, new blood, people with imagination and the ability to care about the concerns of our teachers, children and taxpayers’ money.” While I strongly agree with Commissioner Knight, I will not be answering that call to action for personal reasons. However, I would highly encourage the ordinary Clarksvillian to do so.

My fellow Clarksvillians, I am here to drive a very important message. If you want things to change, you have take action. You need to realize that you, the citizen, have the power and the means to change what you don’t like – but it starts with taking action.

Our students definitely need your help, as Tennessee is ranked 35th in the country when it comes to education. Right now, our main focus should be making sure we have a strong plan of action to get all our students in classrooms safely next year. No more online learning, as our students have missed too many important early developmental and social milestones.

They have also suffered severe learning loss during the pandemic. We also need new ideas to ensure our students have the support to close the achievement gaps they have missed.

We need to start making sure our students have food in their bellies to ensure consternation on learning. If I’m paying school taxes and I don’t have children in school, then I don’t want any of our students going hungry.

We must make sure we go all out and give it everything we’ve got to ensure massive teacher support. We also need to embrace but not become dependent on new technology to make sure the learning plan is delivered and received effectively, efficiently and in a modern way.

We can no longer play the victim and accept substandard leadership or test scores. We are responsible for everything that happens to our school system and our students. Don’t be a part of the problem – be a part of the solution.

So, I now leave you with one question. What are you willing to do for our students? Run for your local district school board seat.

Ascencion “Big Sarge” Lopez

Clarksville

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