LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Three East Texans are hoping to be the next representative from the region for the state board of education.
The three are Republican candidate Keven Ellis, Democratic candidate Amanda Rudolph and Libertarian Anastasia Wilford. Each of the three have admitted to pushing the point that the race is not through after voters saw a crazy primary between Ellis and Mary Lou Bruner. The race gt national attention for extreme remarks Bruner made about climate change and President Obama.
"We're still working hard," Ellis said. "We have been traveling all over this district to Rockwall to Grayson County to Tyler and Longview."
Ellis' opponents are also trying to get out the word.
"I think a lot of people think this it is done or relieved that Mrs. Brunner wasn't chosen," Rudolph said.
They are also thankful that Bruner did not make the general election.
"I am glad Ellis won the primary," Wilford said. "It's hard to beat a republican in this area and had Mary Lou Brunner won the primary I would be fearful for the kids of Texas."
Ellis enters the election as the current board president for Lufkin ISD. He has been on the board for over four years.
"I have seen what we have done right in education and things that we could do better," Ellis said. "I want to bring that to Austin and help all of the state.We got to prepare our students to be college and career ready and not look at those as two separate things. As we teach our children to learn and think critically for themselves we got to make sure they are ready for higher education or ready to step into the challenges of the workforce."
For the last 13 years, Rudolph has been teaching at Stephen F. Austin State University in the education department. She has also taught in public schools.
"Texas used to be a strong example for the nation and we have moved away from that," Rudolph said. "I think a strong part of that is the use of standardized testing. it has put pressure on teachers to where we are not treating them with respect and as experts in the field. I would like for us to move back to a curriculum that empowers our teachers in the classroom and does not just focus on the end of the year test."
Wilford is currently enrolled in UT Tyler and is working on becoming a teacher and has had the urge to help others.
"I have always had the urge to teach and help people,"Wilford said. "I want to inspire kids in science and mathematics.Part of what encouraged me to run for office is kids get discouraged about science and math. They see it as hard and their grades start to slip, but science and math are the basis for everything we do... I want to get kids to realize that they are smart enough, they are good enough."
All three are running for different parties that are divided on national issues but the three all agree that the state needs to reconsider the way the state handles the state standardized testing.
"We need to integrate more problem based learning into the curriculum into the state of Texas," Wilford said. "I've seen the benefits it can have specifically with my own son. "
"I would really like to bring a focus to engaging curriculum," Rudolph said. "Curriculum that allows our students to do experiments and projects and field trips."
"We have our TEKS standards which are bloated," Ellis said. "There is too much information and that makes our teachers spend their entire time, space to teach all of this."
With similarities in plans the three know it will come down to a strong party base on election day.
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