Two Knox County school board races decided, two others head to g

Two Knox County school board races decided, two others head to general election

Posted:
Amber Rountree Amber Rountree
Lynne Fugate Lynne Fugate
By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With 12 candidates vying for four open Knox County school board seats, two races were decided Tuesday night.

It has been a heated race with heavy campaigning across the districts. Tuesday’s election will lead to a shake up of the Board of Education come September.

Because the school board race is non partisan, candidates needed to receive 50 percent plus one vote to win outright, if not the top two candidates will have a run off in the general election in August.

In District 9, which represents South Knoxville, incumbent Pam Trainor was unable to keep her seat against newcomer Amber Rountree.

We spoke the a very excited Rountree after the results rolled in.  

“I’m in shock, I’m in complete shock, I can’t believe it. I just look forward to being in the seat and getting out in the schools and making those connections in the schools and putting that platform into action. I really want to make sure I follow through on all the things I talked to folks about,” said Rountree, a librarian at Halls Elementary.

Rountree has been vocal about her discontent with Knox County Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre and the current teacher evaluation system.

Rountree received 58 percent of the vote with Trainor, who is currently serving her first term with the Board of Education, received 42 percent.

It was a three way race in District 4, but incumbent and current school board chairwoman Lynne Fugate was able to keep her seat.

Fugate received 55 percent of the vote, with candidate Sally Absher receiving 34 percent and Scott Clark receiving 11 percent.

“I’m just happy that the citizens of the fourth district have reelected me to serve a second term on the board of education, I think it says the folks in our district are pleased with the direction were heading with the schools and I’m really honored that they’ve selected to let me serve again,” said Fugate.

The District 1 race will be decided in the general election this August.

Incumbent and current vice chair of the board Gloria Deathridge will face retired Knox County Schools social worker Marshall Walker in the run off.

Deathridge received 46 percent of the vote with Walker receiving 28 percent, followed by candidate Robert Boyd with 26 percent. Late Tuesday night the difference of votes between Boyd and Walker was just 26.

6 News spoke with Deathridge over the phone Tuesday night.

“I’m pleased with the 46 percent, I would have loved 50 plus one but I look forward to continuing to debate the issues in our schools,” Deathridge said.

Walker said he, too, looks forward to more debates in the next coming month.

“I plan to get out more into the community and start explaining my platform more. Hopefully the voters will be able to decide which candidate is best for District 1,” said Walker over the phone.

In District 6, the four way race also will be decided in August.

Retired Knox County schools social worker and lead consultant Terry Hill took home 46 percent of the votes and will face Knox County Council PTA president Sandra Rowcliffe in the run off.  Rowcliffe received 23 percent of the vote.

Hill says she is humbled by the support of her district.

“I’m hopeful my supporters will stay with me and we can wrap this up in August. I look forward to continuing to give my message. My message is the same, doing what’s best for Knox County,” said Hill.

Rowcliffe says she too is excited to continue her campaign message.

“We have a lot of work to do to get our message out. We’re grateful to continue the conversation were having about education,” said Rowcliffe.

District 4 candidate had 19 percent and Tamara Shepherd had 15 percent.

The other new school board member in Knox County will be in District 7. Patti Lou Bounds ran unopposed. She will fill Kim Severance’s seat.

That means at least three new board members will take over in September. Fugate says it will take time t

“When I came on the board four years ago, there were five new people on the board. So it is typical, I do a lot of facilitation with groups and group dynamics will change. We wil lave to spend a lot of time on our retreat coming up on board bonding, getting on the same page, because we do have to work together for the citizens of Knox County,” Fugate said.

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