Randy Smith for NA-FC School Board: “I think it’s important to remember that the superintendent works for the school board and not the other way around.”


Thousands of Floyd Countians already have voted, and as with the News and Tribune, the Courier-Journal has belatedly released candidate information.

Couldn’t these newspapers go to work a bit earlier, and provide information to the public before voting begins?

Floyd County School Board candidates | Election 2016, by Kirsten Clark (Courier-Journal)

The presidential election isn’t the only important race on the ballot. There are nine candidates vying for seats on the New Albany-Floyd County School Board, which evaluates the superintendent, oversees the school district’s budget and has the final say in issues of district policy and facility decisions.

Take a look at who’s running, and be sure to vote on Nov. 8.

Having already endorsed Randy Smith for the at-large slot on the school board, I’m under no obligation to be fair to the other candidates. Here is Randy’s bio and answers, as submitted to the C-J.

Randy Smith

Age: 60

Occupation: Bookseller

Education: Bachelor of Science with high honors in public administration, graduate study in law

Family: Wife, Ann Baumgartle

Reason for running: I hope to take NAFC schools to the next level by building a community consensus around public education and the importance of investing in our students. Great schools are made by great teachers, and it is important to show them the respect needed to make their jobs fulfilling.

Biggest issue facing constituency: Two issues present themselves: 1) Teacher recruitment and retention, and 2) restoring trust in the school administration. A lack of transparency and accountability have created a lack of trust which hampers progress. I think it’s important to remember that the superintendent works for the school board and not the other way around.

The NAFC administration has falsely presented this referendum as if it is our only choice. For that reason, I do not expect it will be approved by the voters. I don’t believe there is even a Plan B, which makes this do-over referendum incredibly risky. The next school board will need to be prepared to address the most serious concerns facing the district. Dr. Hibbard’s solution actually puts limits on what we can do to strengthen the vitally important instruction mission, offering only a construction alternative. I will be voting “no.”