Endorsements: Bibb school board: District 3, District 4

October 31, 2012 

There are two more seats to be decided on the Bibb County Board of Education. One due to the term limiting of Susan Middleton in District 4, and the other, a contest between incumbent Susan Sipe and Angela Freeman.

Even during an election season with so many contested races, the school board remains the most important governing authority in the area.

In District 3, Sipe has the reputation of a hard worker who has been on the outs with the majority of school board members, particularly on the subjects of hiring Superintendent Romain Dallemand and his Macon Miracle plan to improve the area’s dismal academic achievement.

As a member of the “Gang of Three,” Sipe has opposed many of the measures the superintendent has proposed. Her opposition, however has not been disagreeable. Sipe asks good questions and expects answers.

Angela Freeman is a longtime educator who has taught in several Bibb County schools. She was Teacher of the Year at Burghard Elementary School in 1996. A Southwest High School graduate, she is part of along line of educators.

Freeman says she is running “not because Sipe has done anything wrong.” It’s what she thinks she can do better. Both candidates will seek improvements for Heard and Porter elementary schools in District 3. Freeman says she will not cast any “symbolic” no votes that impede progress.

Sipe and Freeman are excellent candidates, however, Sipe’s experience on the board trumps her opponent.

We endorse Susan Sipe.

District 4

This position also has two good, qualified candidates, attorney Lester Miller and Dominique Johnson, an academic coordinator for Mercer University’s Upward Bound program. Johnson favors military-style alternative schools staffed by retired teachers.

Johnson feels he can build relationships with other members of the board by having open and honest conversations. He also thinks some of the employees in the district should have their salaries cut until there is proof of a miracle. He has two children, an MBA and a master’s degree in theology.

Miller, is an über-volunteer. He’s headed up a PTO and has worked as an unpaid coach. He has two children, one at Rutland High and the other at Rutland Middle.

His primary objective would be safe schools and he feels the implementation of the Macon Miracle will be the key to the program’s success or failure. He believes teachers who instruct in alternative settings should be rewarded. Miller is running as a Republican even though he believes school board positions should be nonpartisan.

The board will have two, possibly three, new faces and there are a number of issues to deal with, and we believe, at this time that Lester Miller is the best candidate to join the mix.

We endorse Lester Miller.

Board members: Charles Bass, Amy Elton, Mary Lou Ezell, Leroy Mack, Jon Merrill, Giles O’Neal, Gene Strauss, George McCanless, Sherrie Marshall and Charles E. Richardson.

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