Candidate Q&A

Walthall 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

Pamela Dillon


Linda Ginn Metz



District 2

Bobbie J. Lewis



Dominque Simmons Raiford

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?  My involvement in the community has always been to be a listener to the kids. I love giving them advice and speaking with them by encouraging them. To help them to be motivated to keep going even when things are getting tough. I attended the Walthall School District and always wished that there would’ve been someone other than my parents that listened and encouraged me. So I grew to believe that I would always be there when anyone around me or far away from me needed me. My kids attend school in the district and I love that they love the value of being in this district as I done growing up. I’ve never worked for the school district but my words of advice gave me just enough gratitude for myself to be thankful and smile daily.
2.  Why do you want to serve on your school board?  I wanna serve on the school board to help improve test scores and find a way to encourage students from leaving our school district for various reasons.
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 students in our school district are provided a Chromebook, but many do not have internet service in the 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?  Allow prayer back in schools. We need more security officers. We need one in each school full time. Hire additional counselors who have time to help students with their problem.
5.  What do you see as the most pressing infrastructure needs facing your district?  We need money, better fencing around the schools, better restrooms, and etc.
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?  I will help encourage parents to contact our senators and representatives to fully fund the MAEP.
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 believe our tax dollars should be used in the public schools. The money should be used wisely and give our students a reason to stay in our public schools.
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 trust our educators. I firmly believe in all the strategies they go about doing to better and improve our schools.
9. Mississippi is experiencing a severe teacher shortage. What strategies will you support to recruit and retain high quality educators?  We should increase teacher’s salaries to encourage young people to enter the field to give other generations to come guidance and help them to learn. We also need to cut down on so much paper work on the teachers and give them more time to teach.

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