As election time nears, The Walton Sun reached out to candidates who have qualified to run for seats on the Walton County School Board and asked them for a small bio, and to state their main reason for running for school board, and why they think they are the right choice for the school board.
Qualifying to run for seats in District 2 are Kim Kirby, and Faye Leddon.
Kirby: The Walton County School District is our county's largest employer and is responsible for our most precious asset, our children, and that is why I am seeking this office. It is about our children and what is best for them and their future. I am the candidate with the education and professional experience, including six years as the city manager for the City of DeFuniak Springs, and my career has provided me with the knowledge and experience of serving on boards; budget and policy; contract negotiations; personnel; public administration; and public works. My education, professional knowledge, and experience make me the right choice for Walton County School Board District 2. I will work hard to enhance our school district and keep us moving forward in providing our children with a quality education, while ensuring fiscal responsibility.
Leddon (Incumbent): I want to make sure we provide the best education possible for my five grandchildren along with the other 8,000+ students that attend the Walton County School District. For the last four years, I have gone to the board table prepared and dealt with the issues with dignity and respect. I do not owe anyone any political favors.
Qualifying to run in District 3 are Bill Eddins, Jr., and Sharon Roberts.
Eddins: Has resided in Walton County since 1992 with his wife Jolinda and their three children. For the past 13 years he has been employed by a management company as a teacher and administrator for several charter schools. He has been recognized twice by the Department of Education for raising student achievement. He was previously a small-business owner of Southern Exposure Insulation. Eddins said he is running for the position because he believes he has the skills to be a strong board member and to keep the government transparent. He said he will make the best possible decisions to support student needs. He will listen to parents, teachers, and taxpayers, and work to have a strong school district and community. He will strive to raise student achievement while not sacrificing extracurricular activities. He believes he has the experience to work with a budget, small businesses, and at the school level.
Roberts (Incumbent): I want to be a school board member so I may continue to help improve the Walton County School District. I have a vested interest in this county. I want to see its children and economy flourish. I am the right choice because I have a proven record of serving Walton County and its children with integrity. I have a master's degree in business administration and 20 years management experience. I also bring School District Finance experience to the table.
For District 5, qualifying are Darrell Barnhill, and Jason Catalano.
Barnhill: I attended Jefferson Davis College and the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, where I studied Urban Stormwater Management. He has been married for 36 years to Deborah Carr Barnhill, who is a teacher at Butler Elementary School. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. My main reason to seek the office of School Board member is to restore financial integrity to the Walton County School System. Over the last few years taxes have been raised, but none of the money has made it to the classroom. Recently the School Board had to reach into its reserve account to make a payroll. This unbridled spending without tracking hurts taxpayers, teachers, and all stakeholders within our education system. I have been endorsed by the teachers and support staff because they believe I am the candidate that when elected can restore confidence and financial integrity to our school system.
Catalano: As a father, I understand the importance of our school district. I also understand that Walton County needs leaders who can relate to working families and who remain accountable to the people that we are elected to represent. I will partner with parents, teachers, and the community to improve the learning experience of each student.