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Camden school candidates bring variety to election

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Sissy Aydlett

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Candidates from a variety of backgrounds are seeking the three seats on the Camden County Board of Education.

Among the the six candidates who will appear on the county ballot in November is Tiffany Bounds, who is making her second run for school board.

Bounds, 33, a stay-at-home mom, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the board in 2016.

“I would love to see Camden grow in the education system and make sure that things are going smoothly,” Bounds said.

Bounds has a child entering third-grade in the Camden County Schools, another child entering kindergarten and 2-year-old twins. She said she wants school to go as smoothly as possible for them.

Superintendent Joe Ferrell, who started in November of last year, is doing a good job so far, Bounds said.

“I know he has been shaking things up over there, but we’ll see if that’s good or bad,” Bounds said. “Sometime you don’t know until later how it’s going to turn out.”

In recent months there have been changes at the principal level at Camden County High School and Camden Middle School, and a new position of chief academic officer has been created. Some realigning of responsibilities also has occurred with central office administrators.

Bounds is a 2003 graduate of Camden County High School.

Sissy Aydlett is seeking reelection to a second term on the board.

“I am not running for reelection as a result of an easy experience,” Aydlett said. “In fact, the last few years have been some of the most difficult of my life. I am running again to continue the accomplishments we have attained through our hard work as a board.”

Aydlett said she believes she should be reelected because she has kept promises she made when she ran four years ago.

“Throughout my term, we have increased grant funding and mental health services,” Aydlett said. “We have also added a social worker to our staff -- an addition that we desperately needed to combat issues we have dealt with in the school system. Lastly, we are now making progress with the building of a new high school. It is for these reasons I feel I am a good candidate.”

A registered nurse, Aydlett is employed by the Albemarle Hospital Foundation and is also a hospice and palliative nurse at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.

Eleanora Doane-Butts said she is running for the board of education in Camden because she believes in being a public servant.

“I want to serve every child in the Camden County Public Schools,” Butts said.

Butts is a career teacher who teaches in Virginia and is making her first bid for elective office.

“I am an advocate for children,” Butts said. “That’s what I am about.”

Butts’ candidacy has picked up an endorsement from four-term board member Chris Wilson, who is not seeking reelection.

“I would like to see an African-America in my seat,” Wilson said. “I think our community needs that representation. I believe Eleanora Butts would do a good job on the board. She is an educator, a teacher. She is very capable and she is from the county.”

Wilson said he is not seeking reelection because “I just felt like it was time for me to move on.” He said the school board is moving in a positive direction now and he has confidence in the leadership of Superintendent Joe Ferrell.

A partner in Mitchell Funeral Care and Cremations, Wilson said he needs to devote more time to his business and his family.

Butts said she appreciates Wilson’s endorsement.

Other candidates for the three seats on the board, whose backgrounds have already been reported in The Daily Advance, are incumbent Jason Banks and first-time candidates Chris Purcell and Roger Morgan. 

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