Candidate Q&A

Copiah County School District

School Board Election 2022

Our public education questionnaire was offered to school board candidates in the November 8 school board elections. Search below for responses from board districts that have opposing candidates. Unopposed candidates are not included.

District 1

Senetra Murray

1.  What has been your involvement with the community and school district? Describe your leadership and volunteerism in the community. Did you or your children attend school in the district? Have you volunteered in or been employed by the school district?  I am highly active and involved in my community as well as my school district. I am a former PTA President, Band Booster President, substitute, and an advocate for our children. I attend the monthly town meetings to be abreast and updated on my community. My children and I attended and graduated from Crystal Springs High School.
2.  Why do you want to serve on your school board?  I will serve as a voice for our children and an aide to the parents of our children in the community. I will speak to the values, views, and desires of the public school system.
3.  Students from low-income households often need additional resources to achieve academic success. What should your school district do to ensure that all students are successful?  The school district should work to enlist a program that would provide take home computers by partnering with the community and businesses to donate computers for home studies and provide hot spots for students in rural areas.
4.  What strategies would you support to create a safer school environment?  What can your school district do to address cyberbullying, mental health, and physical safety?  I would be willing to support strategies that include a fire wall system, fire safety practices, active shooter practices, and implement inclement weather practices. The school system can address cyberbullying, mental health, and physical safety by implementing a no bullying program, mental health prevention program, and physical program.
5.  What do you see as the most pressing infrastructure needs facing your district?  Road improvement from the rural areas to the school, secure proper heating and cooling system for the school auditorium and gymnasium.
6.  Mississippi school districts are funded by a mix of federal, state, and local funds. The state contributes to local school districts through the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP). MAEP is intended to fund teacher salaries, retirement and benefits, transportation costs, facility maintenance and utilities, special education and other programs, but it is underfunded statewide this year by $279-million. What role will you play in advocating for full funding of MAEP for your district?  A signed petition from the citizens of the school district to request and secure funding from the federal, state, and local levels.
7.  Vouchers for private school tuition and online schools divert public funds away from public schools. Do you agree that tax dollars should be used for only public schools and not for non-public schools? Why or why not?  I must admit that I have mixed emotions on how our tax dollars are spent to fund non- public schools who are more than capable of supporting themselves as opposed to public schools not receiving the funds they need to meet the education goals and objectives of our students.
8. In Mississippi, academic standards are set by the Mississippi Department of Education and local districts choose curricula from an MDE approved list. Do you trust educators in your district to teach using their professional judgement and training or should teaching be further regulated by school board policy or law? If you believe teaching should be further regulated, how so?  I believe that teaching in the school district should be further regulated by the school board polices and laws to meet the needs of our students.
9. Mississippi is experiencing a severe teacher shortage. What strategies will you support to recruit and retain high quality educators?  I will support the following strategies to recruit and retain high quality educators by putting together a great recruitment packet, job fair, ask for referrals from formal teacher and retired teachers. The use of social media and creative advertisements are also great ways to recruit teachers. Affirmations, conduct regular teachers survey, teacher’s incentives, and celebrating the great strategies of teaching.

Helen Sandifer



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