We heartily recommend returning Wayne Bridges to the Columbia County Board of Education District 2 seat on Tuesday - and selecting exciting newcomer LouAnne Grove to join him from District 5.
A real firebrand, LouAnne Grove is a demanding teacher of keyboarding, computers and journalism at Richmond County's Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, one of the finest schools in the state. And with a kindergarten-age son at Riverside Elementary School, she also has a huge interest in Columbia County's education system - and wants to represent it.
She not only has a wealth of experience in education, where she has taught in college as well as public schools, she also has a master of science degree in business education and 15 years of experience in the private sector in marketing and management.
Her resume, as impressive as it is, is overshadowed by the force of her personality. Her infectious energy and enthusiasm communicates a passion for her work that can't help but make her a leader.
This is why we strongly urge her election next Tuesday.
The case for re-electing Wayne Bridges is much stronger than his opponent's case against it. While Bridges, the chief financial officer for the Center for Faithwalk Leadership, has been on the board, Columbia County schools have managed to maintain their "excellence" status despite new federal standards, unfunded state mandates, a $9 million cut in state funding and huge influxes of students - all without raising tax rates.
Bridges has served the board well the last four years, and we expect he will again the next four, which is why we urge District 2 voters to return him to the post.