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UnifiEd urges school board members to involve community in superintendent search

Tuesday, UnifiEd members walked door to door in the Glass Street neighborhood speaking to people about public education. (Image: WTVC)

A non-profit group that's been fighting the school board over decisions for more than year continues to rally the community.

It has now been more than seven months since former Hamilton County superintendent Rick Smith announced his retirement.

Tuesday, UnifiEd members walked door to door in the Glass Street neighborhood speaking to people about public education.

"If the district really wants to start changing things and making things different - they need to start making better and different decisions," said Jonas Barriere, UnifiEd Executive Director.

The non-profit aims to empower people, families, teachers, and administrators to get involved, take action, and support community leaders who make education a priority.

Their goal of knocking on people's doors: to urge school board members to involve the community in the search for the next superintendent.

The group also wants to get people to write letters to the board member that lives in their district.

"When's the last time you saw a superintendent or a school board member? What we're saying is, it's ridiculous that elected officials don't come to areas like this and ask folks what they wanna see in the public schools," said Barriere to a resident.

Joshua Robinson was one of the people UnifiEd met with Tuesday.

He went to Red Bank High school. Robinson has a few ideas about what he thinks could make the school system better.

"I believe we need to start younger in the elementary schools. We need to have teachers at the schools longer than two to three years to develop chemistry with the kids," said Robinson.

Michelle Dunn works for UnifiEd now, but spent years as a teacher in Hamilton County.

"We've had four superintendents since I've been here - so it's a big issue, and something needs to change," she said.

Dunn says it's time to do something different. Something UnifiEd hopes to accomplish - one knock at a time.

"If it's not working - why are we continuing to do the same thing," asked Dunn?

On Thursday, the school board will meet in an Agenda Work Session.

At that meeting they'll discuss the superintendent search firms.

On Wednesday, UnifiEd is hosting their last advocacy training session. That begins at four at the UnifiEd office off McCallie Ave.

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