Vicki Mayes

Vicki Mayes was the only candidate from the District 4 school board race to speak at the Polk County Chamber of Commerce's political forum on May 3. / Kevin Myrick

Local residents have a choice to make by the end of next Tuesday. Who do they want to represent them on the school board, for a Polk County Commission seat, and in statewide offices? The choices Polk County makes now can shape the future to come. To better help voters understand who everyone is on the board, we’re providing some brief profiles of local candidates in contested races. We’ll have more information on those who are running unopposed, or who will face a challenge in November later on this week.

A longtime educator working in the classroom, Vicki Mayes has a big goal in mind.

She wants to roll up her sleeves and get to work tackling big issues within the Polk School District, and is challenging a longtime incumbent for the Board of Education District 4 seat.

Mayes, a former Polk School District educator with two decades of experience under her belt and now working in the Floyd County area said her hopes are to continue the trend of local schools bouncing back from “some hard knocks” during the May 3 Chamber of Commerce political forum.

“We’ve lost good teachers, we’ve hired back some good teachers and we’ve gained some good teachers as well,” she said previously. “The new leadership in this administration has turned the ship, but we’ve still got some work to do before we turn the ship fully.”

Much of her goals if chosen to be the next District 4 member revolve around continuing the gains made by the current district administration, and also to work toward re-establishing a level of trust within the community following past turbulence at the central office, and loss of teachers to other districts.

Additionally, Mayes wants the future for students in the Polk School District to include giving students more opportunities for whatever path in life they wish to take following graduation from local schools, and to ensure resources are being spent wisely.

Teacher pay is also one of the top items on her list to tackle, and said previously that education is a career “where the pay does not equal the counterparts in other fields.”