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Meet Muscogee County School Board of Education District 2 candidates

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 9:08 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - There are several candidates running for Muscogee County’s Board of Education. Including district candidates in district 2. Incumbent Nickie Tillery and Sadiyah Abdullah are both in the running for the seat.

Both candidates are mothers with children in Muscogee County Schools and said they both want to help improve the district not only for their children, but for all families.

With over 30 thousand students, Muscogee County Schools Board of Education is instrumental in assisting Superintendent David Lewis in leading the district to success.

The Board is the elected governing body of the school district. It consists of nine elected members. One is elected at large while 8 members are elected from districts like district 2.

“I’m passionate about children in this community, education and connecting our community with education because a lot of time the teachers can’t do it by themselves,” said Incumbent Nikie Tillery.

Columbus resident and J.A Long employee Nikki Tillery took district 2′s seat in June of 2021, after the passing of Muscogee County School Board member and longtime Columbus educator Mike Edmondson.

I truly have servant heart. My heart is for these children and these teachers,” said Tillery.

She’s running to keep her seat against Columbus native and Muscogee County educator Sadiyah Abdullah.

Abdullah said her experience working within the district in various roles helps her understand its needs.

“I look at our kids and their future and I clearly understand that if we don’t have an educator or someone who understands the system from the bottom to the top, there’s no way we’re going to become a beacon of excellence which is the districts mission,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah said her mission is also to make sure area parents are advocating for their children.

“Because no one is going to know your child better than you know your child,” said Abdullah.

Both candidates said their top priorities are addressing the need for better state test scores and making sure children are prepared for a bright future.

“I love children and I love what I do in education. And when I look at the scores and only 68 percent of Muscogee county school students are reading on grade level when you look at 3rd-5th graders, and the math is much worse at 38 percent, and then science goes down from there,” said Abdullah.

“It’s addressing the children and teachers where they are because we’re trying to fit an old business model into a new business.”

TIllery told News Leader Nine she’d like to focus on pandemic related retention programs while Abdullah said her focus is improving test scores and overall academic success.

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