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Election Preview 2010 - School Board (fifth district)

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By The Staff

Terry Patterson, 59, candidate for fifth-district school board member

Occupation and education: Purchasing manager at iTron and part-time farmer; received bachelors degree from Centre college   

Family: Married to Billie Patterson; two sons, Adam and Kyle; one daughter, Leah; three grandsons, Sam, Houston and Micah

Most important issues facing Owen County and how to address them: Owen County like the rest of the nation has been hit hard by the recession. You can’t turn on the television these days without hearing about somebody losing their job. When jobs do become available today, there is a lot of competition for these jobs. It is the responsibility of the Owen County School System to prepare students for transition into the work force after graduation. In order for our students to be successful they need to be better than the other candidates competing for the same job.

What changes in local government would you like to make if you win your election? Our schools have made progress in recent years but I want to see us as a top 20 school district. If we are going to attract jobs and businesses we need to distinguish ourselves from the surrounding counties.

What are the differences between you and your opponent? I don’t know my opponent so I cannot say. I can say that my objective is to improve Owen County school facilities and academics. Once the new middle school is complete, Owen County will have excellent facilities. The employees of Owen County Schools are working together to ensure the success of every student.

What would you like to tell the voters of Owen County about yourself and your vision for Owen County? I have worked at Itron for 32 years and lived and worked on a farm near Poplar Grove for 28 years. Experience is important in any job, but it is equally important to improve myself by continuing education. Whether I attend a class on EPD’s to improve the genetics of my cattle herd or I attend purchasing classes for Itron, continuing education is important for decision making.

Good school systems are a vital part of a growing community. Parents want to raise their kids in a safe environment where they can get a good education. Businesses want to locate where they can get access to an educated work force.

Technology is changing the world at a rapid pace these days. To further complicate the situation, competition these days is global. Successful organizations are the ones that can recognize or anticipate the change and adapt. Owen County farmers have had to adapt because of changes in the tobacco industry. Business at Itron has changed dramatically and will have to continue to change in order to stay competitive. That is why it is crucial that our schools prepare Owen County kids for the changes that are sure to happen in the future. My vision is that Owen County is recognized as a leader in student achievement.

ALSO RUNNING -- Write-in candidate, Nancy D. Chilton