SPRINGDALE, Ark.(KNWA/KFTA) — Voters in Springdale will be deciding who’ll take the At-large Position 2 seat for the Springdale School Board.
Incumbent Michelle Cook has spent the last decade serving in the Springdale School Board’s At-large seat and feels as though her work is not yet done. Her opponent is Donald Tippett, who says it’s time for there to be new faces on the school board.
While Cook said she agrees it can be good to switch things up, she said her longevity on the board helps bring consistency to the district, especially at a time where legislation handed down from the state’s capitol is already creating change.
“We’ve taken the time to build relationships with local, state and federal representatives, and those relationships help you prepare for things like the LEARNS Act,” said Cook.
Tippett said he would also like to see the LEARNS Act implemented in the best way for Springdale families.
He said he first saw the need to shake things up during the pandemic.
“They locked the schools down for a year, ” said Tippett. “They made the kids wear masks for a long time, and it was not necessary.”
Cook was president of the board during that time and said she was advocating for Springdale teachers, administrators and families.
Tippett said he doesn’t feel the current board members are listening to parents’ needs. He wants there to be more communication between the school board and the public.
“Parents need to be have the access to be able to say, ‘hey, this is what I want to do’, and allow them to talk,” said Tippett. “That’s not really set up that way at this time.”
Though, Cook said her decade on the school board has allowed her to build relationships with district staff, students and parents. She said she wants to be re-elected, so she can continue creating change that makes them feel supported.
“I’ve given out my phone number and my email and people know where I live and know I’m comfortable with them stopping me in a store,” said Cook. “The only way we can know that something isn’t working is if they tell us and I feel like that line of communication needs to continue.”
Both Cook and Tippett’s kids have attended schools within the Springdale School District.
Monday, May 8 is the last day of early voting and Election Day is Tuesday, May 9.