School Board Elections

By: Candace White
By: Candace White

In Bay County there's only one district school board seat on the ballot. For those of you still on the fence.

Politicians have been knocking on doors and pounding the pavement lately. Although Ron Danzey and Pat Sabiston say they are friends, they are competing against each other to be elected as the Bay District School Board's District One Representative.

Danzey say he wants to continue his strong leadership for a fourth term. Sabiston says she can bring fresh ideas and perspective to the school system. So far they've chosen to run on they're assets and they have contrasting opinions on a lot of the key issues. For instance, should high school students continue to be able to leave campus for lunch?

"That is a school-based decision."

"I believe in a closed campus."

Ron Danzey of the Bay District School Board said, "As a parent, if you want your child to leave campus then you ought to have the authority to tell your child not to leave."

Pat Sabiston said, "I'm talking about a closed lunch period where the kids stay on the campus all the time at lunch."

Both candidates agree this year's school dress code policy is a positive change, but Sabiston says she would have done things differently.

"I definitely thought uniforms should've been implemented and if I had been a school board member, it wouldn't have taken us more than a decade to get a uniform code."

"Bay County wasn't ready for uniforms, in my opinion, until this year.”

"If it takes 12 years to get the community on board, we're not building consensus correctly."

Both candidates also differ on building consensus amongst the board and the community.

"I will listen to the community to see what's best for the community."

But some people prefer action.

"What I'm seeing is that the board makes policies, and it's interpreted however the school wants to interpret it. I don't think that's good policy or good management."

Both Sabiston and Danzey say they have passion for education, enough to help each and every student succeed in school and hopefully life.

"I bring the passion of a grandmother and the compassion. My opponent says he's not a very compassionate man."

"I think my record speaks for itself. I've done a great job, but there again, having said that, it's not about me, it's about what happens in the classroom. I just play a small part in making sure the county's education moves in the right direction."

Danzey says he's concerned the personnel hearing regarding Bay High's Principal Larry Bollinger might sway votes. Sabiston says she's confident the hearing won't affect how people feel about the school board.


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