HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - In one week, folks will head to the polls for the municipal election. We want you to get to know better the candidates for Huntsville city school board for District 4. Both of the candidates are still out campaigning, knocking on doors and reaching voters online.
Ryan Renaud is a Huntsville High graduate and would be brand new to the district, while Walker McGinnis has three decades of experience. Here is why they decided to run.
“Listening to the community, listening to the parents and listening to the teachers and finding out how to address these issues and talking with people in leadership positions after doing that I wasn’t comfortable with the issues they were addressing,” said newcomer Renaud.
"It's a part of my life, a big part,” said incumbent McGinnis. “I have no political ambitions beyond being a board member I have none of those issues and I feel like this is where I can help the most."
A big concern is how the board will get the district out of financial trouble. They both agree a state audit is necessary to get back on track.
“I’m no financial wizard but I know when we got problems,” McGinnis said. “It’s too early, we are still gathering information.”
“There’s been irresponsible spending, irresponsible contracts money million, hundreds of million of dollars that have been spent that never reached the students inside our classrooms and these are all issues that should have been addressed at that point and time and it’s being addressed now,” Renaud explained.
To bring up the school systems report card Renaud believes they need to focus on certain achievement gaps like getting reading levels up early on in students education to see a difference in the higher grade levels. McGinnis said the district must support each school on their individual needs to see success.
"I just put my record out there 36 years in this system different assignments in different parts of the city and I've accumulated a great deal of wealth and knowledge and understanding of the Huntsville city schools,” McGinnis added. “If you mention a problem I can trace it back to when it started."
"My goal is to bring forth innovative ideas and creative ideas and to bridge the gap between our private business community and our public education community so that we can incentivize students of appreciate of education at an early age," Renaud said. Renaud said his top priority if elected would be financial oversight while McGinnis said he wouldn't do anything different.
The election is Tuesday.