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Clark County School Board District E

Both candidates in the District E race for the Clark County School Board reference their personal backgrounds as a main reason they hope to help oversee the education of approximately 322,000 students.

Incumbent Patrice Tew, who seeks a second four-year term to the board, cites the education her four children received while attending the Clark County School District. All four graduated from Cimarron-Memorial High School, which is housed in Tew’s district.

“I want all children to have the opportunity of education that my kids have,” Tew said. “I know it sounds trite, but it is a payback for what my family received from the great teachers that they had in their high school.”

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Opponent Lola Brooks, a data technology consultant, recalls her own childhood and how it helps her connect with the many low-income students who move frequently throughout the school year.

“I actually grew up very poor. We were on and off welfare. We were homeless occasionally,” Brooks said. “I understand this population because I come from it.”

With a background in the nonprofit community, Brooks said she would help the district partner with external organizations that perhaps more efficiently can provide English language, health care and other services to at-risk children.

Tew plans to fight for more state funding for a teacher mentorship program that partners new-to-the-classroom hires with veteran educators.

“We are supporting these new struggling teachers,” Tew said. “Our teachers need to be supported because they can’t do this alone.”

While Brooks acknowledged she will face a learning curve in the position, she has reached some conclusions about how the sitting board members conduct their business.

“A lot of time … these School Board meetings are spent talking about things that have nothing to do with academic achievement and improving student outcomes,” she said. “I find that very disappointing.”

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