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Knox County Board of Education District 7

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  • Candidate picture

    Sherri Garrett
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Dominique Oakley
    (I)

  • Candidate picture

    Steve Triplett
    (Rep)

Información Biográfica

What professional and personal experiences make you the best candidate for this position?

Describe the top two challenges facing Knox County. What specific actions would you propose to address these challenges?

Campaign Address PO Box 163
Powell, TN 37849
Campaign Phone 865-352-9626
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/sherrigarrettfordistrict7schoolboard
I am a mother of 5 boys, grandmother of 10. Four of my children went through Knox County Schools, two of them in special ed. Currently 5 of my grandchildren are in Knox County Schools, 2 of them have speech issues. I have been a nurse for 32 years, working in many fields of nursing. That service aspect of my career is what drives me to serve my community. I have experience with public schools and in service for my patients.
The number one challenge is the literacy rate in Knox County. It was below 40% before 2020, and now is below 30%. We must get back to basics in the fundamental of reading, writing, math and science, focusing on that to get our children ready to graduate. The second challenge is our school safety. We have two aspects of that, one with security in our schools, the second with buildings. First off, I will keep our children safe by voting for policies that will keep school security officers in our schools as well and maintaining a great relationship with our law enforcement. Secondly, I will advocate for our school buildings that desperately need renovations or replacing, as well as building and maintaining our playgrounds. I will work with other school board members and county commission to find funding to make sure our children are learning in the safest environment possible.
Campaign Address PO Box 123
Heiskell, TN 37754
Campaign Phone 865-229-6811
Campaign Email votedominique@gmail.com
Campaign Website http://votedominique.com
Facebook Page https://facebook.com/VoteDominique/
I have taught English and Social Studies in the classroom and have taught and advocated for special needs children, in addition to working with kids in public and private schools all over Knox County. This experience has exposed me first-hand to the challenges of being an educator in our county and beyond. I’ve personally worked with kids who didn’t know where their next meals would come from, who didn’t have a safe home to return to, or who lacked the sort of community network required to truly help them thrive in the classroom. I’ve seen what a difference a caring teacher can make in a kid’s life. It’s important to me to assure that our students, teachers, and communities have educators advocating for them on the school board.

I am also the mother of twin boys, one of them with a variety of special needs – so I’ve had a lot of experience navigating both “normal” and special needs education in our school system. I have an immediate and personal interest in making sure Knox County offers the best education possible to our kids. I think we can do so much better, and I’d like to bring my personal experience to the board to help influence how we do better, with an emphasis on greater school and community involvement.

Finally, I’m a fourth-generation educator with roots in Knox County. After spending a few years out of state, I returned to raise my family here at home where I belong in a community I cherish and contribute to as a local businesswoman. I’m invested in the Knox County community because I am a proud product of it.
The top challenge facing Knox County schools is political grift. TN schools are under attack by the privatization of education to line the pockets of out-of-state charter schools working for profit rather than for the public good. Gov. Lee’s rushed TISA funding bill will prove ruinous to TN communities by using public tax dollars to fund sub-standard education, by raising property taxes later while promising “free” money for education today, and by reducing local control of how our kids are educated.

Some board members and candidates promote charters and vouchers as “school choice” over public education, without considering broader community ramifications. While I cannot as a county board member have any direct control over the state DOE’s policies, I can educate my community by shining a light on grift, by clarifying policies that will negatively impact our kids, and by pushing for local policies that will properly fund and serve public education.

The second challenge I’ll highlight is disparities in education, which impacts kids based on poverty level, race, disability, English language skill, and other criteria. Providing quality education to all students requires first acknowledging disparities and then developing and funding policies to reduce disparities. I propose testing out personalized learning plans and community school programs as first steps toward reducing disparity in education in Knox County, as these initiatives tend to meet students where they are in their learning journeys and communities rather than standardizing toward a “normal” that is not valid.
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