Bay County NAACP Youth Council moderates BDS Superintendent Candidate Summit

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– Bay District Schools Superintendent candidates were able to express their ideas and positions on the issues Saturday afternoon. This as the NAACP Youth Council held a candidates forum online.

Participants were able to ask their own questions to the candidates as well.

“We just wanted to give the youth an opportunity to get to know who’s going to be their next superintendent, or the candidates for the next superintendent election,” said NAACP Youth Council President Trey Griffin.

The forum included more than just youth participants, several adults joined the conversation, listening to the candidates’ positions on different topics and asking questions.

Both Bill Husfelt and Judy Vandergrift answered several questions such as what effort they will take to address systemic racism.

“It’s an issue that needs to be brought up and needs to be dealt with,” Griffin said. “They both talked that they were going to do some big things to try to involve the community, try to involve churches and try to involve people so that this racism can stop in our community or at least slow down in our school system so that our students don’t have to deal with issues like that.”

When asked about priorities if elected, Husfelt said he would continue to focus on the well being of students as they recover from Hurricane Michael, reconstruction and now the pandemic.

“I just know that the years of experience that I have doing this and understanding the problems we have in this community, I think that I’m the one to continue to help our community move forward,” Husfelt said.

Vandergrift said she wants to focus on improving the area’s school ratings.

“I think our rating in the state is about 33rd out of 67 districts and I think that’s very important for us to take a look at,” she said. “We need to make sure that we concentrate on bringing the district average up and I think as superintendent that I can do that.”

Griffin said it was a productive forum with many questions answered.

“I think it was overall a really good thing for the community to get to know their superintendent candidates,” Griffin said.

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