Address: P.O. Box 184 Decatur, AL
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• Resident of Decatur for nearly 25 years
• Educator in Decatur City Schools for 21 years (1993-2014)
• Adjunct instructor at Calhoun Community College (2015 to present)
• Master’s Degree from Delta State University
• Married to Wayne Baggett for over 40 years
• Two Children: Emily and Jeremy, graduates of Decatur City Schools
• Member of Southside Baptist Church
Getting To Know Your Candidate:
My heart is in public education. Having taught in four public school systems and two community colleges, I possess the knowledge of successful school systems. I know the importance of community involvement within the system for the betterment of our city’s children. I desire to enhance communication, academic excellence, and relationships within the Decatur City school system and among the system’s stakeholders. Because I believe I have valuable experience as an educator that will help push students forward, I am seeking a place on the Decatur City School Board.
Introducing Experienced Educator Peggy Baggett, Running for Decatur City School Board District 2
I am Peggy Baggett and a candidate for the Decatur City School Board District 2. It is with great excitement that I am seeking this position. I desire to be an advocate for the students of Decatur, a strong supporter of teachers, administrators and support personnel, and a voice for the families I serve.
I am married to Wayne Baggett and we have been residents of Decatur for nearly 25 years. We have a daughter Emily and a son Jeremy, both graduates of Decatur City Schools where our grandson is now a 2nd grader.
As a recently retired teacher, I feel privileged to have taught the students from Decatur City Schools for 21 of my 39 years in education. I wish to serve on the school board so that I may endeavor to empower students through a Decatur City Schools education. While serving on the school board, communication, academic excellence, and relationships will be my areas of focus.
Communication: I feel that an innovative learning community begins with communication. One of the first questions a child asks is “Why?” The child is seeking knowledge to understand. Understanding the concerns of the school personnel and community is the key to making decisions that are in the best interest of students. As a board member, I will encourage clear and efficient communication at all levels of the educational system so more proactive decisions can be made by the board.
Academic Excellence: I am committed to providing teachers with the tools and support they need to be successful in educating our students. I am equally determined to protect the school day to ensure that adequate time is provided for learning. Time during the school day should be focused on all aspects of development and learning.
Relationships: While serving on the school board, I plan to build constructive relationships with all members of Decatur City Schools in order to make thoughtful, effective decisions that will meet the unique needs of every student. I plan to cultivate relationships within all segments of our diverse school community in order to maximize student potential.
Communication, academic excellence, and relationships – by focusing on these three areas, I know I will be a positive and passionate addition to the school board. Please consider me, an experienced educator and advocate, as you make your choice for Decatur City School Board District 2.
Two school board candidates and a City Council candidate qualified today for Decatur’s municipal elections.
District 1 incumbent Michele Gray King and District 2 challenger Peggy Baggett registered for the school board elections, City Clerk Stacy Gilley said.
Kristi Huskey is the third person to qualify for the City Council District 2 race. Jake Reed and Jason Tindal qualified earlier this week.
Baggett is taking on incumbent Joe Propst, who qualified Wednesday. King remains unopposed.
Qualifying for the Aug. 23 municipal elections ends July 19.
By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer
All five Decatur City school board incumbents have qualified for the Aug. 23 municipal election — and all believe there's no need for a change.
“We need to continue to focus on student achievement and completing the two new high schools, and that’s why I’m running again,” said Joe Propst, who represents District 2 and is the only incumbent with opposition so far.
Qualifying runs through July 19. Decatur board members serve four-year terms and are paid $300 per month.
Incumbents Karen Duke and Dwight Jett Jr., who have been on the board since 2000, and Donnie Lane, who is seeking a third term, have qualified, as has Michele Gray King, who represents District 1.
Retired Austin teacher Peggy Baggett, 62, is the only non-incumbent to qualify. She is running against Propst.
The makeup of Decatur’s school board has been the same since 2008, and the incumbents said it’s not the time for change because Decatur has hired a new superintendent, the district is implementing programs to improve student achievement, and it is busy constructing two new high schools.
“Student performance is a lot of things and not just test scores,” Lane said. “I want every student to perform at his or her level regardless of what that may be.”
Baggett agrees with the incumbents that student achievement should be a focus, but she’s not buying the argument that changing the board at this time is bad.
“This is a perfect time to make a change,” she said. “I support what the new superintendent is doing, and I think it’s time for some new input on the board. This is not to say anything bad about the present board members, but making a change now is as good as any other time.”
Propst, who did not win in his first run for the board in 2004, didn’t have an opponent in 2012. He said he hopes the voters look at what has happened in the past eight years when they cast ballots.
Propst said the district has almost achieved unitary status and has developed a strategic plan that includes constructing new high schools. He said test scores are a priority because he wants Decatur to be the premier school district in the area.
Decatur students, like students statewide, have struggled with the new ACT Aspire test, and test results indicate many are not on schedule to graduate college- or career-ready.
Duke, who has been board president two terms, said the district has made strides, despite the test scores, but added more is needed to meet the district's demographic shift.
Decatur is no longer a majority white school district, and the system’s Hispanic student population has increased to 24 percent. Many of these students are not proficient in English, but the state’s new standardized test has an increased reading component.
“We’ve hired a new superintendent, and I think this board is moving the district in the right direction,” Duke said.
Although she represents the system’s majority black district, King said she will continue to look at the big picture and make decisions for all Decatur students.
Jett, who is seeking a fifth term, could not be reached for comment.
By Deangelo McDaniel Staff Writer
Paid for by the Team to Elect Peggy Baggett, P.O. Box 184, Decatur, AL 35602
UPDATED ON AUGUST 2016