Marshall County Schools superintendent candidates say they want to continue progress, see improvement

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley has competition this election, challenged by Democrat David Jones.

David Jones is a resident of Arab and he currently works for the Madison County Schools system. "I have a master's degree and an Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership, and I have 21 years in the classroom, which is something my opponent doesn't have," Jones said.

Republican incumbent Cindy Wigley is a lifelong resident of the Douglas area and a third generation graduate of the Marshall County Schools system. "I actually have experience as an administrator," Wigley said, "I was a teacher for nine years, assistant principal for one year, a principal and career tech director for ten years and the last four years as superintendent. I also hold a doctorate degree from the University of Alabama."

Jones said he worked in the system previously and wants to see it improve. On his campaign website, Jones wrote he feels the focus has shifted away from the students and as superintendent, he pledges to work hand in hand across the board to bring that focus back. It continues to say the real work of education is in the classroom, with great teachers being allowed to teach, and helping their students to achieve their full potential. "I want this position because being a teacher means helping people and this will be a position where I can help all of our teachers, principals, students, alike," Jones added. “The first thing I’m going to focus on is student discipline. If we can get student discipline under control in the classrooms we will improve our test scores.”

Wigley said she's allocated over $400,000 this year for school safety and said the schools have been rated among the safest in Alabama. Wigley added the teacher retention rate is at 98% and they've made major improvements to facilities without additional revenue. “Our learning gains are as high or higher than three of our neighboring systems with similar demographics. Our graduation rate is above state average. Our student discipline incidents are down 40 percent. We’ve won more art awards than any other in the congressional district,"  Wigley said, “I would like to continue to focus on students, making our schools as safe as possible and preparing our students for college and the workforce.”

Wigley said she wants to continue progress. Jones said he wants to bring the system to its full potential.