Meet the candidates for District 8 Birmingham BOE


District 8 represents hundreds of students who attend 7 schools. {}2 schools in the district, Bush Middle and Green Acres Middle, were classified by the state as failing schools.{}{}District 8 board member April Williams is fighting for a another term on the board of education. {}"I understand governance. {}The budget. The allocations of funds and making sure we align our resources with our priorities," said Williams.{}Williams, who is also president of the school board, says the board has been proactive in trying to meet the needs of students but admits their have encountered challenges along the way.{}"We have challenges. Unfortunately, we have opportunities for improvement. Fortunately for us, we have leaders, like myself, that's committed to achieving those goals and making Birmingham city schools better," said Williams.{}Williams presides over a school board cited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its in-fighting and members' inability and unwillingness to look beyond the district each represents.{}She says in spite of the report, she's the right candidate for the job and understands what it takes to get the Birmingham School district off of accredited probation.{}Antwon Womack is another candidate for district 8. {}He's a graduate of Birmingham City Schools{}"One thing I know I bring is a listening ear. {}This board does not posses a listening ear. They already have their minds made up based off of special interests, groups that have already talked to them {}about their decisions. {}I believe that when it comes down to our city schools the best people that know our schools are the parents and the individuals that live in the neighborhoods where the schools are," said Womack.{}Womack is no stranger to Birmingham politics. {}In 2009, Womack came under fire after reports revealed he lied about his age, education and residence while campaigning for the Birmingham Board of Education District 6 seat. {}{}"I believe every individual needs to be held accountable for the things that they do in life," said Womack."...after an individual has had the opportunity to go back and to change some of those things and has definitely improved themselves, I believe they should be given a second opportunity."{}Patricia Bozeman-Henderson is the third candidate running for the district 8 seat. {}She says she doesn't have political experience but she is a concerned mother who believes something has to change on the board.{}"My biggest thing is helping our children with a better education. I want to them succeed in life because they are our vessel for the future," said Henderson.{}She says she's concerned about district para-professionals keeping their jobs, the system-wide probation, and a lack of resources in the schools.{}" I want to bring actual books to our classroom. We don't need to run out of any materials. {}As big as our school system is, we shouldn't have to run out of anything," said Henderson