The district 3 representative to the Bibb County school board, Susan Sipe, says she's had four years of experience as a board member, and that's nothing to toss aside.
"Being on the school board, it's a very deep learning curve," said Sipe. "It took more than a year for those of us who are on the board to understand the full cycle and understand all the parts of budgeting and everything that does with it."
Sipe, a Democrat, has a granddaughter in the school system and she was active in the parent teacher association. She says she's running for a second term because the board can't afford to have so many people battling that learning curve.
"With three brand new members coming on, it'll be very difficult if I am not put back on the board and we have one half of the board being brand new."
But her challenger, Republican Angela Freeman, says district 3 has lost its voice over the years-- even more so with Sipe on the board. Freeman says she has too often been on the losing side of a 5 to 3 vote.
"The problem with the current representative is when she stands up at these school board meetings and she gives her opinion, she is basically told to sit back down," said Freeman. "After 20 years of knowing most of the board members, they know me well enough to know that I am a good listener, but I set out to solve problems."
Freeman is a behavior specialist who has taught special ed in Bibb Schools. She says she has unbreakable ties to the community and a strong stake in the school system's success-- her two daughters are Bibb County students. That's why she says she wants to put her problem solving skills to work for the whole district.
"When I see the opportunity to solve a problem, I just don't stop," said Freeman.
Click on the accompanying interviews to see the candidates' take on a rage of issues, from the strategic plan to revamping Heard Elementary.