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Deakins to run for District 6 School Board

Farragut resident Thomas Deakins comes from a family of politicians, but his children are the reason he is seeking the District 6 position on the Knox County Board of Education.

“I’ve got two children in Farragut Primary School and two that will be entering it before long,” he said. “You can never make a change in the system if you sit on the sidelines and complain.”

Deakins, 35, is employed as a solutions architect for Oracle Corp.. He said he decided to run for the School Board because of political aspirations and the need for change in the way the schools are operated in Knox County.

“I have a background in researching problems and designing a solution,” he said. “That’s what I do for a living.”

Deakins said he sees three primary issues that are of great concern to him and the people of Knox County. The first of these issues is zoning.

“Zoning is going to be a big issue over the next couple of years,” he said. “People are worried about where their children are going to go to high school.”

A second issue he said was important to parents and students is overcrowding.

“We have kids going to class in portable buildings,” he said. “I don’t think kids ought to go to school in portables.”

Deakins said Knox County schools are in their current situation due to a lack of foresight and planning by the School Board.

“We don’t have a ten-year plan,” he said. “We still don’t know where the money for the new high school is coming from.”

The third issue of concern is establishing a high educational curriculum in Knox County schools that prepares students to be part of a global economy.

“We have got to strive and get the bar higher,” Deakins said. “We can’t be complacent.”

One of the areas of improvement, he said, could be in the area of teaching foreign languages.

“In about ten to fifteen years, these kids need to come out of school bilingual,” he said.

In order to improve the schools, Deakins proposes the need for two things. The first is more money. He said there are opportunities out there for funding from large companies, such as Microsoft. The district just needs to seek out these sources.

The second area that will improve the area schools is more community involvement. Deakins said the business community has approached the School Board with a willingness to help, as long as the board has a plan and can identify its needs from the business community.


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