Eplunus Colvin Stuttgart School Board Candidate

by Dawn Teer

In addition to the Candidate Forum that was presented by the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Arkansas Broadcasters, the DeWitt Era-Enterprise wanted to help inform the public about the candidates. After putting together several questions, they were submitted to all candidates.

1. Please list your name and the ward you are running for.

E. 'Eplunus' Colvin Stuttgart School Board Zone 6

2. What made you want to throw your hat in?

I decided to run for school board because for so long I have sat back and watched decisions be made that, in my opinion, weren't made to benefit all children. I also wanted to be a voice for the community of parents who have often complained about their voices not being considered and lobby for the success of our teachers making sure their voices are represented as well. There are policies and procedures already in place that weren't being implemented by the school district and I felt accountability was lacking from leadership.

3. How do you feel you can move our school board forward?

As a reporter, I am very resourceful. I already have several solutions in mind that can target bullying, retain teachers and create a positive school culture and climate.

4. What do you feel are issues facing the school district? How do you propose to help solve them?

Some of our issues are retaining teachers and recruiting classified staff. The four key reasons why teachers quit are compensation, preparation, mentoring, and teaching conditions which I plan to help provide solutions for all.

5. What do you feel is the responsibility of the school board?

The responsibility of a school board is to establish the vision and goals for the Stuttgart School District, implement the standards of the school and superintendent's performance, and guide the budget to set spending priorities. Personally, I am not aiming to be a basic school board member but to go above and beyond the call of duty. My community efforts have proven I already strive beyond what is expected, I am innovative and a community leader who fosters partnerships and collaborations.

6. Do you have children in the district? If so, where do they attend?

I have 2 biological children in the school district, 5 & 15, that attend Park Avenue Elementary and Stuttgart High School. Because I am a youth director for Allen Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Co-founder of the Kelly Hobbs Mentoring Program for young men with my husband, Stuttgart PD Corporal Paul Colvin who is the Stuttgart School Resource Officer and partner of Stuttgart Gloves Not Guns, together we have hundreds of kids in the community that we inspire and pour into on a daily basis.

7. Can you be fair to all children?

I am a leader who advocates for equity and excellence for all children. I place the needs of all children at the center of our education system. It is important to build a school district's capacity for informed civic participation, empathy, critical thinking, and creating an environment in which everyone belongs including students, teachers, faculty, staff, parents, stakeholders, and the community.

8. What strengths will you bring to the board, if elected?

I will bring knowledge, transparency, community engagement, inclusiveness, and resourceful leadership.

9. Can you set personal feelings aside and work for the district as a whole?

My ethics and values come from a place of fairness to all, truthfulness, non-biased, and honesty.

10. Why should voters elect you?

We need leadership that represents the diversity of our great community and gives voice to a new generation of parents in the Stuttgart School District. I believe a school board member should give voice to what the community feels is important and focus on student success, provide operational guidance and ensure accountability for the district. To be successful it will take effective two-way communications and developing meaningful partnerships. It is going to take us improving cultural understanding, professional development, instruction, and leadership in order to move the Stuttgart School District forward in the right direction. It's not what I will do once elected, it's what I am already doing. Given the opportunity as a school board member, I will be able to do so much more.

I need a seat at the table to collaborate with other go-getters and forward thinkers as we empower our superintendent and the Stuttgart School District!

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