The Alexander City City Council held a work session Thursday to interview six possible candidates for the Alexander City Board of Education.

There are two available spots at this time. Current board member Michael Ransaw’s five-year term is up and there is a vacancy for a candidate to finish out the remaining three years of the late Dorothea Walker.

All councilmembers were present along with Mayor Tommy Spraggins and city clerk Amanda Thomas, and the public was able to call and listen in.

Each of the six candidates, who include Ransaw, Jimmy Brock, Vantrice Heard, Marie McCall, Chanté Ruffin and Rosalyn McKinney-Salter, was asked the same 12 questions concerning their interest and commitment to the position, their involvement in education, top priorities facing Alexander City Schools and personal attributes that make them fit for the position.

Ransaw was the first to interview in the hopes of retaining his position for another five-year term. He has already served 10 years and hopes his experience and familiarity will make him the most eligible choice.

“I don’t think you’ll find any candidate behind me with the 10 years of experience understanding out kids, teachers, this community,” Ransaw said. “That’s 10 years of dedication and commitment, without pay.”

Brock works at C&J Tech in Alexander City and has served on various committees in the community over the years including Lake Martin Economic Development Alliance, Lake Martin Area United Way, Boys & Girls Club and more. With his background in education and business, he said he has a lot to offer the board of education.

“I have a lot to add and also a lot to learn about the process after seeing both sides of it in the business world and within the community,” Brock said. “My primary interest is learning and also contributing.”

As a past interviewee for this position, Heard said her community involvement has increased over the last five years. As a part-time research coordinator at Russell Medical, she is interested in serving the community in other impactful ways. 

“I was born, raised and been through every one of these schools,” Heard said. “I think because of that, that natural sense of love for community and the school system is strong. Once a (Benjamin Russell) Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”

Ruffin is a pediatrician who owns her own practice in Alexander City and said her capability to take care of children in the community and understand their mental and emotional needs will go a long way in education. With three children in the school system and a 3-year-old who will eventually be in it, she has been heavily involved in parent-teacher organizations and has a vested interest in the school’s decision-making process. 

“The board wants the best for our children,” Ruffin said. “One of our mottos is high expectations and success for all, for each patient and my own children. I will be a team player and fit in with the goals the board has in mind.”

Already familiar with Alexander City Schools, McCall recently retired as the director of federal and alternative programs. She was an educator almost her entire career and feels strongly about taking care of the children and keeping the board’s focus on advancing their education.

“I am totally 100% without a doubt focused on what’s best for the kids,” McCall said. “I am that person that wants to see everybody do everything they’re supposed to do and understand why they did it.”

The final candidate was Salter who works during the day as a registered hospice care nurse and clinical manager and also helps out with her grandchildren. She wants to be a part of the board to help make decisions for area students and prepare them for the real world.

“I am educated and hardworking to help the board members and the Alex City Schools to achieve its mission statement and vision for the students in our area,” Salter said.

The city council will vote on the five-year term and remaining three-year term at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday. 

Editor’s Note: For more details on the board of education candidates, see the Weekend Outlook.

Amy Passaretti is a staff writer with the Alexander City Outlook.