Vickie Reed and Andrew Schmidt will run for two-year seats in the school board election next Tuesday. Both incumbents, they filed to run for shorter terms made necessary by the resignations of Leslie Miller and Mike Helle, whose terms would have expired in 2019. State law requires the seats to be included on the 2017 ballot to get the board’s rotation order back on track.

Reed and Schmidt are the only candidates for the two seats, though voters may write in other names on the ballot. The Journal-Express asked all school board candidates to provide brief profiles. Due to space limitations, those of Reed and Schmidt were held from last week’s Journal-Express but run today.

Vickie Reed

I am married to Dick Reed. We have six children and 12 grandchildren with another one due any day! I am a graduate of Drake University and I have lived in the Knoxville Community School District for 37 years. I recently retired as the owner of Kone Korner. I was recently appointed to fill a vacated seat on the school board until the election and have since decided that I now have the time and would like to give back to our community by serving on the school board for the remainder of this term.

I am very passionate about public education and feel that we owe every child in our district the opportunity for an education that will help them achieve their full potential. In addition, we need to ensure that every child receives good nutrition and learns to importance of physical well-being. We need to employ the best teachers and continue to develop a curriculum that allows us as a district to be a leader in 21st century learning. We need to continue to improve our school infrastructure and remain fiscally responsible. We need to continue to develop partnerships with our city government and local business and industry to give our students resources for success and to improve our quality of life in Knoxville.

I believe that strong, successful schools are extremely important in the development of a community. I am open-minded, willing to listen and learn, and prepared to devote my time and talents to make the our schools great and contribute to the quality of living and ultimately the growth of Knoxville.

Andrew Schmidt

Our family moved to Knoxville six years ago and we love it here! We desire to contribute to the community in ways that help Knoxville grow and thrive.

Serving on the school board has been a good fit due to my background, professional experiences and current stage of life. My dad was a principal and my mom a teacher for over 40 years. This has given me a glimpse into the perspective of our educators. I also have experience serving on the public library board, a denominational board and the board of a manufacturing company.

My wife, Camille, and I have five children. We have a child attending in each building of our school district and one who will begin preschool at West Elementary next fall. This means that I am in each school interacting with a variety of staff on a regular basis. Since our children are involved in sports and the arts, I intersect with those arenas throughout the year as well.

My goal in running for the board four years ago was to promote a culture of excellence. I have been excited by many positive outcomes during this time including the West building project, improved scores for early childhood reading, a decline in our high school dropout rate, revisions to the school lunch program and remaining in a solid financial position as a district without raising taxes. I could go on if space allowed. The reason for these results is that we truly have terrific staff throughout the district!

My goal in running again for school board is to continue promoting a culture of excellence for every student by ensuring staff are provided what they need to do their job well and our physical environments are conducive for learning.

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