CONYERS -- Rockdale County Board of Education member Katrina Young hopes to keep serving for the next four years.
Young, who serves in the Post 2 At-Large seat on the school board, said she plans to seek re-election to the nonpartisan seat. She was elected to the school board in November 2006 and began serving in January 2007.
"With two children in the school system at the time, I wanted to be involved with their education," said Young, a graduate of Rockdale County High School who works as a training coordinator at General Mills in Covington. "I am passionate about public education and expanding learning opportunities for all students. I am also from Rockdale County and have been involved in this community for a long time. Being on the school board allows me to combine service to this community and my interest in educating children."
She said she especially wants to continue on the school board because of her concern about federal and state governments not providing necessary funding to keep public education moving forward and giving the students what they need to excel in a global society.
"The school system has made great strides under the leadership of Dr. Samuel King since I have been on the board," she said in an e-mail.
Young has served as a member of the Finance Committee during her time on the board.
"I have assisted with difficult decisions throughout my tenure, as we have experienced a decrease in state funding each year," she said. "Reduced local revenue with the more recent economic decline has also required us to be creative and prudent to maintain our debt-free school system."
Still, she said she is proud of the board's and system's efforts to create additional learning opportunities for all students through enrichment programs, Open Campus and credit recovery labs in every high school. She said that the most recent graduation rate of 83 percent, which was the highest ever in the era of accountability, and the drop-out rate of 2.6 percent reflect that the programs are working and students are benefiting from them.
She also is proud that the school board has been named and maintained the status of a Board of Distinction by the Georgia School Boards Association during her time on the board.
"This designation requires us to think strategically and align everything we do with the school system strategic plan," she said. "We have prioritized board goals, and we have a systematic approach to evaluating our performance as board members."
Young, who holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Georgia State University, said she is qualified to continue because of her experience on the school board over the past three-and-a-half years.
"I am familiar with the school system's strategic plan, board policies and the funding formulas for public education," she said. "I am dedicated to this community, and I still have the passion for educating children that originally brought me to the school board. I am excited about the future of education in Rockdale County, despite the economic challenges we face. I will continue to work hard to meet the needs of our children and to prepare them for their future, whether they choose to enter the work force, go to college or enter the military after high school."
In addition to Young's Post 2 At-Large Seat, Jeff Dugan's Post 1 At-Large seat also is on the ballot this year. Dugan announced in March that he doesn't intend to seek reelection.
Qualifying for the school board seats is from 9 a.m. June 28 until noon July 2 at the Rockdale County Board of Elections office, which is located at 1400 Parker Road SE in Conyers.