Compiled by birminghamwatch.org
There are two seats left to fill on the Birmingham Board of Education.
In the District 1 runoff election on Oct. 5, Incumbent Douglas Lee Ragland will face Sherman Collins Jr. Collins received 1,827 votes, or 43.07 percent of the vote in August while Ragland received 1,814 votes or 42.76 percent. In the District 9 runoff election, La’Darius Hilliard received 1,934, votes or 43.15 percent of the vote while Jason Meadows received 1,878 votes or 41.9 percent.
Sherman Collins Jr.
Sherman Collins Jr. Dist. 1, BOE
Political experience: Elected to Board of Education, 2012; ran for City Council, 2019
Professional experience: Business owner
Civic experience: Member of Masonic Lodge Geometry 410; volunteer coach and mentor at Sun Valley Elementary for past 10 years; recipient of NAACP Outstanding Community Service Award
Education: Graduate of Huffman High, 1992, and Samford University, 1996
Main issues: Emphasizing what direction the board will go and having board members who are not tied to special interest groups and charter schools, and who will speak for the students
Douglas Lee Ragland (Incumbent)
Political experience: Ran for District 1 seat in August 2013; elected to District 1 in 2017
Professional experience: Retired educator and administrator, Birmingham City Schools; elementary and middle school teacher, 1978-1989; BCS assistant principal, 1989-1990; elementary school principal in the Eufaula City School System, 1990-1998; BCS K-5 personnel coordinator, 1998-2003; central office hearing officer, 2003-2004; superintendent of Greene County Schools, 2004-2007; superintendent of Midfield City Schools, 2007-2010; BCS Board of Education since 2017
Civic experience: Appointed by Gov. Ivey in 2019 to serve on the Alabama Educational Television Commission for Congressional District 7, as well as the Alabama Educational Television Authority, and confirmed by the Alabama Senate; member, Interstate Military Children’s Commission, 2017-present; Alabama prison ministry training for Julia Tutwiler Prison, 2014-present; Upper Room Fellowship Prison Ministry, 2014-present; Birmingham Public Building Authority Board, 2013-present; executive board of the Birmingham Planning Commission, 2012-present; Birmingham Zoning and Advisory Committee, 2012-present; Birmingham Planning Commission, 2011-present; Upper Room Fellowship Church leadership, 2008-present; Midfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 2007-present
Education: Bachelor’s degree, elementary education, UAB, 1977; master’s, elementary education, UAB, 1978; advanced certification in elementary education, UAB, 1980; master’s level certification in public school administration, 1981; education specialist degree in educational leadership, UAB, 1983; doctorate in educational leadership, UAB and the University of Alabama, 2000
Main Issues: Create responsible board policies to prepare children for global success; provide highly qualified teachers in single classroom; achieve 95% to 100% parental and community involvement in all schools, as well as the district; approve responsible recommendations that don’t infringe on rights, eliminate legal fees; create stability at the superintendent’s position, which in turn would maintain and sustain educational excellence.
Campaign: drdouglasragland.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Residence: Pratt City, Birmingham.
Political experience: Unsuccessful run for Alabama House of Representatives District 60, 2018; elected to state and county Democratic Executive Committee, 2016; currently services on state Democratic Executive Committee, 2016-president.
Professional experience: Interned at the law office of Hilliard, Smith & Hunt LLC, 2011- 2013; Alabama Education Association Consultant, in Birmingham, Bessemer and Fairfield schools; 2014-2016; One Touch Consulting LLC, 2015-present
Education: St. Paul Elementary School; Daniel Payne Middle School; Jackson Olin High School; Minor High School; Jefferson State Community College; Meridian College, Meridian, Mississippi
Civic experience: Led efforts to stop arsons in Ensley; led efforts against legislation that took $40 million dollars from Birmingham City Schools; led the fight to raise the minimum wage and co-wrote the ordinance that passed for the city of Birmingham; president of Jefferson County Millennial Democrats (Formerly Young Democrats), which won Local Chapter of the Year for work on minimum wage; awarded NAACP Man of the Year; organized efforts to fight for Medicaid expansion; presented legislation for the City Council to enact a Domestic Violence Housing Ordinance to protect victims as it relates to lease or rental agreements; led efforts for kids that witnessed shootings to receive free counseling; former president of Pratt City Youth Organization; associate minister at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church of North Pratt.
Main issues: Upgrade technology in classrooms; support mental health and social resources; reinvest in career technical training classes; collaborate with churches and nonprofits to support students outside of school; invest in student-led programs; and promote financial literacy curriculum as well as black history studies.
Campaign: FaceBook: Le’Darius Hilliard
Political experience: None
Civic experience: Merchandise sales/customer care, Alabama Power Co., 2015-2018; Woodlawn Foundation, 2018-current; youth assistant professor at Emanuel Temple, 2005-current.
Education: University of Alabama, degree in marketing, 2003
Main issues: Development of certified skills and trade academy pathway with agreements with corporations for employment; social-oriented emotional support for students and their families; stronger support for teachers and staff; comprehensive plan for technology resources for students.
Campaign: https://www.votemeadows.org/, https://www.facebook.com/jason.meadows.54738