Editor’s note: The News is publishing answers to a short questionnaire from candidates in contested primary races throughout this week. Early voting ends Friday. The primary election is May 22.
Name: Michael Minutelli
Where are you from?: Born in Fall River, Mass.; grew up in Bristol, R.I.; lived in New England 34 years, Puerto Rico 10 years, Kentucky 10 years and St. Simons Island full-time since 2008.
Political experience: None
What is your profession?: Retired Educator (42 years).
Why are you running for office?:
My understanding of these processes and my desire to serve has created my candidacy.
I believe school boards matter in creating safe conditions for student and staff success and have a critical role in district governance and oversight.
School should not be a place where students go to learn their limitations. Deficits are cumulative. Student learning must be guaranteed. Sustained student achievement should be our goal.
What I know about creating successful students is to nourish spirit; provide opportunity; engage curiosity.
What I know about educational processes is I have learned them; lived them; internalized them. I also know what we believe, gets done well!
What I know about school organization is the key to school improvement is professional learning communities; highly qualified teachers equal students who achieve.
What I know about communication with parents/caregivers/stakeholders is share more; listen more — everybody wins.
What I know about home-school relationships is conversations can determine our children’s futures. Parent-teacher conferences are a critical piece in the overall success in improving student achievement and building trust.
I know this as I have learned, lived and internalized it through my 42 years of educational experiences. Knowing why, knowing how, knowing better are trademarks of my understanding.
Name: Eaddy Sams
Where are you from?: St. Simons for 14 years
Political experience: Voting citizen
What is your profession?: Financial accountant
Why are you running for office?: I have a passion for serving. People know me as a service-oriented person. It is tremendously fulfilling for me to help others in our schools and community through leadership or committee roles and by supporting our local charities.
I can contribute and impact positive change. My background, as an engineering-educated accountant, uniquely qualifies me to bring a point-of-view to the board that is not currently represented. I am trained to have an objective, analytical approach that will help Glynn County get the very best value for its citizens — fiscal responsibility, but not at the expense of our students.
During the past nine years, I have built relationships with parents, teachers, and administrators by being actively involved in our schools as a PTA officer and school council member. I hear first-hand and understand the challenges that our schools face. We can do better.
St. Simons has been home for my family since I was 18 years old. After several relocations in the early years of our marriage, my husband and I decided to return here. This is where we want to raise our two sons. We have roots here, and someday, we hope to have grandchildren who attend Glynn County schools.
Name: David Sharpe
Where are you from?: St. Simons Island
Political experience: Counterintelligence and Political Analyst for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to 16 U.S. Government Agencies and the White House Communications Agency.
What is your profession?: Business owner, STAX Solutions, providing military veteran suicide prevention and mental health counseling. Founder and President, Companions for Heroes, saving shelter dogs from euthanasia and adopting them with active duty military, veterans and first responders.
Why are you running for office?: As a product of our school system, the son of educators and a father to a 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter (who runs the house by the way!), I recognize the importance of education for our community’s future.
Therefore, I will work to: Ensure safe schools and restore discipline in our classrooms so our students can learn, and our teachers can teach; Call for higher academic expectations that challenge all students to live up to their full potential and become productive citizens.
This includes expanded learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (“STEM”) to prepare more Glynn County graduates for high demand, higher paying jobs within our community; and Champion fiscal responsibility and transparency in our system budgeting and operations to make sure our schools are secure and our students and teachers have the resources to succeed. I am asking for your vote in the May 22 primary.
Early voting ends May 18. Thank you for your time, and if you would like to talk to me directly, please feel free to call me at 912-222-3014. I will serve you on the school board as I served you on the battlefield. Take care and God Bless you.
Name: Lance Turpin
Where are you from?: St. Simons Island since 2002
Political experience: Glynn County School Board District 3 representative (2007-2008)
What is your profession?: Market President for BB&T Bank’s South Coast Region
Why are you running for office?: I am running for office to help restore discipline in our schools, eliminate unnecessary paperwork so teachers can teach, enhance security at all schools, establish a community effort to encourage more parental involvement in the education of our children and reduce the cost of education in Glynn County. After graduating from Georgia Southern University, I have spent 25 years in the banking and finance industry and currently serve as a trustee on the College of Coastal Georgia Foundation. As market president for BB&T Bank, I am responsible for managing four bank locations with total assets of $163 million. I served on the board of education as the District 3 representative in 2007 and 2008 with the District 2 incumbent, Millard Allen. Together, we lowered school taxes by one mill, built new schools (i.e. Glynn Middle School), restored SACS accreditation to the District, was named a Board of Distinction by GSBA, and established a commitment to improving education in all of our schools. My wife has been a teacher for 19 years and we also have two children with 12 years in Glynn County Schools. I am the conservative candidate with the most relevant experience to serve Glynn County taxpayers.