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Reader endorses Martin for School Board; Response to presstalk attacking Dr. Lee Martin

Reader endorses Martin for School Board

This letter is in response to a presstalk column in last week’s farragutpress regarding Lee Martin’s school board candidacy. To me, it is obvious that someone with a Ph.D. in engineering and [who] graduated as a Torch-bearer from UT would have an understanding of education issues.

He would also recognize the importance of Advanced Place-ment courses in our high schools and would be an asset to any school board. More importantly we need to examine what type of person we need on Knox County’s School Board. It makes sense that the person who represents Farragut not only values the importance of a good education but also has strong business experience.

The Knox County School Board is the board of directors for a $320 million operation with some 6,000 employees serving over 52,000 students. The operation represents over 60 percent of Knox County’s budget.

While school boards certainly need some members who have PTA experience or who have served as principals, coaches or teachers, many school boards are dominated by such a composition. It is critically important that we have representatives on our school board with strong business skills.

The logical way to put more taxpayer money into the classroom is to better manage the administrative and overhead dollars of the school budget, not raise property taxes. Lee Martin’s business background bodes well in representing the district that pays more property taxes than any other district in the county.

Certainly someone with a strong business and technology background would be a valuable addition to the Knox County School Board. Lee Martin is that someone!


Louis S. Moran III

Response to presstalk attacking Dr. Lee Martin

I would like to respond to the presstalk caller who attacked Dr. Lee Martin announcing his candidacy for Knox County School Board.

As you know from this past year’s election (“Yes, We Are in the School Business!”) and recent letters to the editor (08/25/05 and 11/10/05), I am very passionate about our schools even though I have, at this time, no children.

It is everyone’s responsibility to make their community’s schools a priority, even if they do not currently have children in the public school system. Our education system is also critical to sustaining a healthy local and national economy … the same economy that fuels Social Security and pension programs.

Do you ever wonder why these programs are under distress? There is a direct correlation with the quality of education, entrepreneurship / innovation culture and business (economy).

I support anyone who will challenge the mediocre status quo of “its good enough” or our schools are “better than average.” State rankings are frivolous in regards to today’s competitive environment; our kids are not competing with kids down the street for jobs … they are competing with kids in India, China and Eastern Europe. ...

Perhaps the caller should do some due diligence and contact Dr. Martin and/or some of his past students from UT to see how they and their companies they founded under Dr. Martin are doing.

In summary, we should all welcome our fellow citizens who are seeking to offer their time and fresh ideas to better our community. We need representatives who understand today’s business and technological needs in an ever changing competitive environment. Before attacking someone, perhaps the caller should do some more due diligence and / or give the courtesy to Dr. Martin to express his vision, ideas and qualifications.

It is funny how things work in an election year. I stopped by the site for the new high school ... the only evidence of construction has been the placement of the sign stating the names of the entire elected Knox County officials.

Bill Johns



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