Erica Veasley seeking second term to Morgan County Board of Education

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor

Erica Veasley is running for a second term as the District 1 representative on the Morgan County Board of Education (BOE). Veasley, who is running as a Democrat, hopes to be reelected in order to “see through” all the BOE has begun since she was first elected nearly four years ago. “We have made some big changes. If I am reelected, it will be a continuation. I love being on the board. It’s exciting. We have started a lot of things what we want to see them through,” said Veasley, noting the coming College and Career Academy and construction of the new high school and middle school on a consolidated campus. “It’s going to be one campus for One Morgan,” said Veasley. There is a lot of exciting things coming and a lot of work to do before we can see these things come to fruition. And I want to continue to be a part of it.” Veasley is currently serving on a subcommittee of the BOE to address the lack of cultural and ethnic diversity among teachers in the Morgan County School System. “This is not something that occurred over night and it’s not something that will be rectified over night,” said Veasley. “But it’s in the works. I am helping to recruit minorities teachers to our school system, but above all, we want to recruit good, quality teachers because we want what is best for our students.”

Veasley hopes the voters in District 1 will cast their ballots for her, despite some criticizing her support for the closing of the current middle school on Pearl Street. “Some people felt I did not act quickly enough to inform the district of what was happening, but the plan itself evolved so quickly, I couldn’t tell the community before I knew myself,” said Veasley. “I was sure to get the information out as quickly as possible and attended town meetings to hear from the people to let them voice their concerns.” However, Veasley ultimately determined that the best decision for the students of Morgan County was to close the middle school on Pearl Street and construct a new middle school on a consolidated campus with the new high school and College and Career Academy. “My whole goal is always what is best for the students and making sure they get access to the best education possible. So you can tell the entire community that Erica Lynn Veasley is excited about the new middle school. I see the endless opportunities that will take place there…it’s a win-win all the way around, for students and taxpayers.”

“Even in terms of taxpayer dollars, this is the best thing in the world we could do. We are going to end up with something that is beautiful for our students, where they can get the best quality education and the state will give us more money to build new than they would if we tried to renovate the old middle school,” added Veasley. Veasley noted her excitement over the future of the old middle school building and maintaining the historic legacy of the Pearl-Burney Street School. “There is a wonderful committee working on it right now, exploring all the possibilities for the old middle school on Pearl Street. There is so much potential there, that whatever it becomes it will not bring the things down, it’s going to pick the neighborhood up,” said Veasley, who noted the middle school could become a supplemental educational facility, a fitness center, or new headquarters for the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club. Veasley is a lifelong Madison resident and graduated from Morgan County High School in 1980. She earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Georgia, one in Zoology (now known cellular biology) and the other in pharmacy. She has worked as a pharmacist for the last eight years at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and 20 years before that at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens. But Veasley always wanted to stay firmly rooted right here in Morgan County. “It’s home, I love it here,” said Veasley., who is a lifelong member of Calvary Baptist Church in Madison.“I love that it’s a small town and the location and I love the people here. I am a Morgan County girl.”

Although Veasley has fond memories of her time in the Morgan County School System as a student, she is proud of the progess and changes made over the last few decades. “I loved going to school here,” said Veasley. “But the opportunities today for students versus the opportunities in my day are almost immeasurable.” Veasley cited the highly diversified and specialized academic and athletic programs made available to students today as an example. “We also used to have prayer in school which is a huge difference from today. It was part of our daily devotional. But even today, we have so many people who pray over our schools and we, as a board, feel blessed because of it.” Veasley is hoping her record on the BOE will convince voters to reelect her this November. “I do what I am supposed to do and I work hard,” said Veasley. Children are the number one focus with mebecause children and doing what’s best for them is the number one focus with me. I want to continue to do that.”

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