Amber Rountree has announced her intention to run for re-election to represent the 9th District on the Knox County School Board.

She will host a campaign kickoff on Feb. 6 from 5:30-7 p.m. at 3 Bears Coffee, located at 1120 Sevier Ave.

Rountree, who is the board’s vice chair, played a key role in hiring current schools superintendent Bob Thomas; developing and supporting the renovation of the South Doyle High School Library; and helping to eliminate developmentally inappropriate testing for local K-2 students.

She’s also worked with the Great Schools Partnership to expand community schools, pushed for new athletic fields and restrooms at South Doyle Middle School, and partnered with Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and the County Commission to successfully address sidewalk and traffic concerns at South-Doyle High School.

Rountree joined the school board in 2014. The non-partisan election for the 9th District seat is set for May 1.

“As an educator, a UTK doctoral student studying literacy, and a mother of two future Knox County students, my life’s work has been devoted to public education,” Rountree said. “Students, teachers, parents and community members in South Knoxville deserve a strong advocate for public education and who will make sure our dollars are wisely spent.”

As a board member, Rountree is responsible for helping to oversee a $471 million budget, developing and implementing strategic plans that better the school system and partnering with the community to address overall concerns, including the recent rezoning of Dogwood and South Knoxville Elementary Schools. In 2016, Rountree also helped write a grant to implement a Big Read at South Doyle Middle School which provided each 6th grader with a copy of the book “Wonder.”

If re-elected, Rountree plans to expand the community schools program in South Knoxville, implement more early literacy programs, strengthen and expand CTE opportunities, and partner with county leaders to address future capital needs in her district.

Rountree’s campaign kickoff is set for Tuesday at 3 Bears Coffee. She’s encouraged participants to bring a new or gently used book that will be placed in the “little free libraries” that surround South Knoxville schools.

“Growing great readers is a key to growing great schools,” Rountree said. “These little free libraries are a place where students can borrow, return and give books within their school community. Reading is the foundation of success for our students and more access to books will help strengthen that foundation.”

Rountree is a member of the Tennessee School Board Association, the National School Board Association, the Literacy Research Association, and attends St. James Episcopal Church.

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