Foster, Lovelace-Williams running for District 6 school board seat

Published 10:46 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The LaGrange Daily News is doing a series to help voters get to know the candidates for the upcoming local elections on May 21. Today we are writing about the Troup County Board of Education District 6 seat.

Two candidates are seeking the District 6 seat currently held by Joe Franklin, who did not seek reelection.

The candidates are Former Troup County Commissioner Tripp Foster and Miracle Lovelace-Williams.

Lovelace-Williams currently serves as the Director of Nursing at Chattahoochee Hospice in Valley, Alabama.

Foster owns several businesses, including Foster’s Tree Service in LaGrange.


Foster said he was inspired to run, in part, due to his family.

“One of the things that inspired me to run for school board was the fact that many people in my family are educators. My daughter is an educator, so I come from an educational background. I’ve been a lifelong resident here, and I’ve seen things and decisions that have been made over the years with our local schools. A lot of them I agree with and some I think we could do a better job,” Foster said.

Lovelace-Williams also said she was inspired to run because of her family.

“I have two main reasons and they are my children. I have two personal investments in the school system and that’s my children, Madison and Lawson. I want the very best for them. I know that because I’m expecting the best for them, pushing for the best for them, I will have that same energy, compassion and commitment for all children of our county and district,” Lovelace-Williams said.


Foster said the school system still has work to do as it recovers from the setbacks caused by the pandemic.

“I think our school system is striving for improvement. We’ve had some setbacks over the last four to five years, especially when COVID hit, and there was a learning curve because of having to go to Zoom meetings and off campus. As far as education, that disrupted the learning process, and that was something we could not avoid. However, it has put us somewhat in a deficit as far as education,” Foster said. “We’ve got to do something about changing that trajectory for the better. I believe that by working with the other school board members and the superintendent, we can accomplish those great things.”

Lovelace-Williams said the school system is doing well for her children, but she understands some children are struggling.

“From my perspective, as a parent to my children, I think that my children have had a good experience. I think that’s because I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with them. I do know just from speaking with some educators and from students themselves, I think that there are some struggles and there are some areas that we can work on and build on. I think one of those areas that we can focus on is our literacy with our children or the gap that some children have when it comes to reading,” Lovelace-Williams said, noting math should also be a focus because some students struggle with math as well.

“I would also like to have more focus on bullying that may take place in our school systems and to recognize that bullying is not always straightforward, but sometimes there’s an undertone of bullying that we may not recognize, but the children recognize it,” she said.


With a new school superintendent being hired amid the school board campaign, the candidates were asked how they could have their voices heard as part of that process.

Foster suggested that citizens email or have conversations to share their thoughts for the superintendent with the current school board, which has said it hopes to have the superintendent hired by June. The board will have at least three new members in the next term, but they won’t take office until January 2025.

“I’ve heard the other side of that coin in the public where people are saying they ought to wait, have an acting superintendent and wait until the following year when the new school board members are in place so that they can have the final say, since these other members are [retiring] at the end of the year. People are saying that the new board ought to be the one making the final decision set so that they don’t inherit a superintendent that was decided on by the previous board, especially at the midnight hour, at election time and in some board members’ final year. There’s an argument for both sides. I feel a stronger argument is to wait,” Foster said.

Lovelace-Williams said first and foremost she wants a superintendent who leads with compassion and support.

“I’m looking for someone qualified. Someone who has some experience in this area of leading a large system,” she said. “We have 19 schools and about 12,000 students, so this is a big job that has to be filled. I’m looking for a superintendent that is going to be involved. I’m looking for a superintendent who is present so that we can see him or her on campus sometimes. I would also like to see them involved in the community and school activities.”