School Board District Three candidate: Michael Mullins

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By The Staff

Michael Mullins

Age: 57   Address: 614 Country Club Dr.    Educational background: Attended St. Augustine Schools for 11 years and was in the first graduating class of Marion Co. High. Attend St. Catherine College and Western Ky University.   Work Experience: I have worked for Atmos Energy Corperation (formerly Western Ky Gas) for 33 years.  Family Information: Married for 37 years to the former Terri Thompson, we have 5 children and 1 granddaughter.    Organizations (church, civic groups, etc.):   I am a member of St. Augustine Church and Holy Name of Mary and a member of the Knights of Columbus.   1. Why are you running for the board of education?  As a life long resident of Marion county, I am very interested in the growth and success of all our communities and I believe our school system is the back bone of that success. I want to help our schools to continue to reach for excellence.   2. What experiences and training have prepared you for this position? I previously  served on the Board of Education from 2003 thru 2007. I am familier with the operations of our school system.   3. What are the biggest issues facing Marion County Public Schools at this time? How should the board of education address those issues? The first would be student achievement. Every parent wants the best education possible for their child. The Board must find ways to provide our students with the opportunity for excellence in their education at the lowest cost possible. As always, money and resources are a continuing concern for every school system. Our teachers and staff are expected to implement new programs each year but are given less resources to do so.    4. Budgetary concerns remain an issue for school districts across Kentucky, including Marion County. What can the school board do to maintain or improve the district's fiscal situation?  In the past, for example, our district has made many improvements to save energy and lower cost. We not only need to continue with these programs but we must also look for new alternatives to save money. Also, having the right person in the right position is vital in any line of work for continued improvement.   5. Given the district's budgetary restraints, what should be the board of education's priorities with regard to how its funds are allocated? Again, our first priority is Student achievement. As board members we need to make sure that all funds are used appropriately and that there is accountability on every level for that use.   6. Two years ago, Marion County voters opposed the recallable nickel. Is this something that should be reconsidered? Why or why not? Any one running for office tries to avoid tax questions but I don't think it is a matter of, if it should be reconsidered, but a matter of when. With the budget cuts we see in the state and federal goverments, we are going to be called on to support our schools on a local level more and more. I don't like to pay taxes any more than you do but in the long run, this one will benefit our community for years to come.   7. Senate Bill 1 (passed in 2009) changed the accountability system used by the state. How will you assess the district's performance if you are elected? The new accountability system does not take affect until 2012 so we are still measured by NCLB (No Child Left Behind) to meet AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). Continuous progress will be monitored through information given to the board by the superintendant which he has compiled after meeting with his staff and principals.   8. What changes would you like to see within the school district? What would you keep the same about the district? This year is the first time we have three schools in our district that did not meet their AYP. This I do want to change. What I want to keep the same in our district is the respect we have had as a front runner and leader in education.     9. Given how quickly technology changes, what should Marion County schools do to prepare students for what they will encounter in the workforce and/or in higher education? We must continue to up date our facilities. We have started with the Tech Center, with the support of the community, but we can't stop there. Technology is changing from day to day and our school system, to be successful, must change with it.    10. What else would you like voters to know? I resigned from the BOE in 2007 due to some unforeseen changes at work However these changes no longer apply to me and if elected, I will be able to serve in the full capacity of the position. I will perform the duties of a board member with honesty and respect.