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Knoxville Focus for March 3, 2014

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Great turn out for Patti Bounds

“The last 24 hours has been very exciting”

By Mike Steely

steelym@knoxfocus.com

School Board candidate Patti Bounds held her campaign kickoff at Beaver Brook Country Club Thursday evening with a great turn out.

The 7th District School board race began in January and had five declared candidates to replace Kim Severance, who is not seeking reelection.

The School Board elections are drawing much attention with several candidates challenging incumbents because of the continuing revolt by teachers concerned about new teaching standards, pay, evaluations, and excessive student testing under new state and local standards, and a heavy-handed superintendent.

After the filing deadline in District 7, only three candidates remained: R. Larry Smith, Andrew Graybeal, and Patti Bounds. Although the primary election isn’t until May 6, lots of things happened last Wednesday and Thursday and the Bounds’ kick-off announcement turned into a celebration.

Events began to unfold Wednesday morning with term-limited County Commissioner R. Larry Smith calling a news conference to announce he was withdrawing from the race. He has since said that as qualified educator was in the race, he had decided not to run.

Thursday morning it was learned that Andrew Graybeal had also pulled his name from the race, telling the media that Bounds is qualified and very experienced.

That left a much energized Patti Bounds, who had already scheduled her campaign kickoff, as the only candidate.

The 23-year teaching veteran was introduced at the kick off by her campaign treasurer, Bob Tobey.

“I had this wonderful speech written up, but in the last 48 hours…” he started to say and his sentence was overridden with laughter and applause.

“I started teaching when my youngest son started school,” Mrs. Bounds told crowd of well-wishers. She went on to say she taught at Powell for 13 years and is currently at Brickey-McCloud Elementary.

“’I’ve seen lots changes in education in 23 years but none more dramatic than in the last three years,” she said.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” she said, asking for volunteers to knock on doors, display yard signs, and encourage others to vote.

Even though Mrs. Bounds has no opponent, she still believes it is very important to bring her message to the voters of the 7th District. She thanked all those attending for their support and asked for their vote.

Patti and Tommy Bounds have been married 41 years. Their four children are Powell High School graduates. Patti has been named SAM’s Regional Teacher of the Year, Brickey-McCloud Teacher of the Year, and WBIR’s Educator of the Week.

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