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Forum to be held for the Danville Board of Education candidates

Parents and community members will get their chance to hear from the four people running for the two vacant seats on the Danville Board of Education at a candidate forum set for Thursday at Gravely Hall in Danville High School.

Troy McCowan, Kathy Merryman, Lori Thompson Finke and Malcolm Miller are running for the two spots that will be vacated by current members Lonnie Harp and Kate Graves. They will answer questions put forth by moderator Benjamin Knoll, John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics at Centre College.

Topics planned for the forum include student achievement, district culture, community engagement, vision, teamwork, leadership, finances, District of Innovation status, district assets and district challenges.

“We want to make the community aware and to make informed decisions,” Danielle Dampier said. “It’s going to be much milder and less contentious (than the presidential election).”

The event is hosted by the Danville Education Foundation, which is a group that was formed to support the schools financially, and the Danville Education Association, a local education group for teachers.

“We want to create an awareness of who candidates are. You may have heard names, you may not have heard names,” said John Erwin, Danville teacher, speaking on behalf of the Danville Education Association. “They make big decisions about teachers and students.”

The Danville Education Association hosted a forum for the previous board election when there were five candidates for three spots.

A meet and greet has been scheduled for 6 p.m. at the high school and all candidates have been invited. Dampier said she was not certain if every candidate would be there for the meet and greet.

At 7 p.m., the forum will begin in Gravely Hall. Each candidate will have two minutes to introduce themselves, explain why they chose to run for the Danville school board and list their priorities for the district. Then the candidates will answer eight to 12 questions, with each candidate given 90 seconds on each question. Finally, candidates will be given two minutes to make a closing statement, which can include a rebuttal or anything else they would like to say.

The forum will be broadcast live on WHIR and streamed live via the Danville Education Foundation’s Facebook page.

Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.

SO YOU KNOW

A candidate forum for candidates in the Danville Board of Education race will be held 7 p.m. Thursday at Gravely Hall in Danville High School.

An unofficial meet and greet will be held before the forum at 6 p.m. at the high school.

The event will be aired live on WHIR and live streamed on the Danville Education Foundation’s Facebook page.