COVINGTON -- Covington businessman Ron Hart wants the Newton County Board of Education to focus on teachers but also to have a smart business sense.
Hart, 60, has qualified to run on the Republican ticket for the District 1 seat on the school board, which is held by Johnny Smith, who is not seeking re-election.
A former public education teacher and administrator of more than 18 years, Hart is originally from Alabama and now is a regional manager of Music and Arts Centers, which sell, rent and service school band and orchestra supplies.
He said he decided to seek election when he heard about the seat being vacated.
"I feel like I have a lot to offer to the board," he said, adding that his daughter, Paige Hood, is a rising 10th-grader at Alcovy High School and he wants to be a part of her education. "I have experience as an educator, a parent and a businessman. I've worked in all capacities with the schools."
If elected, he wants to encourage retention of as many teachers as possible and also keeping athletic programs active. Hart, whose daughter plays basketball, said as a businessman he understands budgets and also realizes teachers are the most important part of children's education.
He also wants to meet often with the public to gain its input.
"If elected, I'd like to hold quarterly meetings for voters from my district for their input and what they want to do and want for their children," he said.
This would be Hart's first elected position. He and his wife Kathy are active members of the Baptist Tabernacle church in Covington.
In addition to the District 1 seat, Cathy Dobbs' District 3 and C.C. Bates' District 5 seats are up for re-election this year on the Newton County Board of Education. Neither Dobbs nor Bates are seeking re-election.
Qualifying for the school board seats already has ended.