There will be at least two new faces on the Watauga County Board of Education after this year’s elections.

Of the three seats opening, only one current board member, Marshall Ashcraft, is running again. He's served on the board since 2020. 

The other seven candidates on the primary ballot in the nonpartisan race bring a wide range of professional experience to the table.

Adam Hege is an associate professor at Appalachian State University, and Charlotte Mizelle Lloyd advocates for children’s needs in court as a guardian ad litem.  

They both told the Watauga Democrat that teacher recruitment and retention were the biggest challenges facing the district. 

That was Chad Cole’s answer too. He spent 25 years as a firefighter and EMT, but says being a father is what inspired him to run. 

Tim Sweet and Alison Carroll Idol are parents too. They say they’re concerned with learning recovery and aging facilities, respectively. 

Also on the ballot is Tom Ross who says there needs to be more emphasis on the basics of reading, writing and math. David Aaron Grig says he would like to see more focus on outside activities such as gardening and exercise. 

The top six candidates in the primary will move on to the general election.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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