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Bulloch Local Government

INSIDER: Patrice Ellison – Candidate for Bulloch County BOE District 3

Patrice Ellison is running for District 3’s seat on the Bulloch County Board of Education. Learn more about her here –>

Due to the social distancing guidelines, we have converted our traditional AllOnGeorgia candidate video interviews into short questionnaires. Each candidate in the race was provided an identical questionnaire with the same deadline. (Questionnaires were emailed to the email address listed on the qualifying paperwork) Candidates were told their answers would be blank in the event that they did not respond. Answers were not edited in any way.

The Primary Election was moved to June 9th.
The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 11th.
Early voting begins May 18th.
To sign up to volunteer as a poll worker, click here.


 

Please provide a brief bio on yourself.

Hello! My name Is Patrice Thomas Ellison. I am the mother of three sons who attend Bulloch County system schools.  I am also a Bulloch County native and have been based in this area well over 40 years with the exception for time spent overseas in Germany serving in the United States Army.  I have, for 21 years, worked as a cosmetologist and nurse – most recently at Bulloch county school district.   

What type of experience and understanding of the education system do you believe is necessary to competently serve on the Board of Education?

To serve successfully on the Board of Education, you can count on me to use patience, to use a great deal of understanding and to be persistent while being effective. As a parent, which gives the greatest experience and who has successfully had five kids to graduate from the educational system, I believe a quality education for all students should be the standard.   

What are 3 strengths of which our district can be proud? why do you see these as strengths?

The three strengths we are proud of in our district are the school district’s graduation rate of 83% has increased from 73% over five school years. Also, we have brand new school structures throughout our district, and we have a strong and committed support staff and teachers. To mention one more, we are proud of having a small student-to-teacher ratio.  Our school district is strengthened when we have committed teachers and staff working together to make sure the student is receiving optimal instruction. I believe the newer school buildings helps teachers and students feel more relaxed enabling both to concentrate more on academics. I believe the increase of our graduation rate of our students can be directly contributed to our small student to teacher ratio.   

What are 3 needs that must be priorities for our district to address?

The three main areas of priority our school district needs to address given the Covid-19 pandemic we are now dealing with, we desperately need to address the health and safety of students and staff,  we must counteract bullying, and we need to achieve ensuring the mental and physical safety of our students.

An individual school board member has no authority; only the board as a whole can make decisions for the district. What skills or traits will allow you to contribute to effective operations of the board as a whole and how do you overcome disagreement?

To serve efficiently on the Board of Education,  I believe it takes patience, persistence , an understanding  of how the Board functions and most importantly, this requires the ability to work with others to meet the goal of making decisions in the best interest of those affected by our decisions.  From my experience in the military, I’ve mastered true stressful situations which involved near life and death implications, I know how to work through disagreements and I am willing to work for the greater good of the student, the board and district.

If elected/re-elected, what would you hope would be key accomplishments of the board during your years of service?

When elected, you can count on me to: 

  1. Advocate for Students
  2. Building a bridge of Trust Between Students, Parents, and Teachers
  3. Ensuring the Mental and Physical Safety of Our Students

Bulloch County is very diverse and continues to become more diverse every year – economically, racially, culturally, and in other ways. Is the Board of Education and the school system generally doing enough to adequately represent the needs of the various demographics across Bulloch County?

Bulloch County is diverse and while there is room for improvement, and I feel we can better address the needs of various demographics.  Overall, I believe we have a good start and we are well on our way to meeting the needs of our diverse demographics.  

What should our school district be doing to ensure the safety of students and staff?

Our school district should implement new safety guidelines thereby ensuring the mental and physical safety of our students. You can link to my website to read the full details of my plan to make Bulloch County School district safe.

How can the Bulloch County Board of Education be more transparent about activities and finances?

The Bulloch County Board of Education can be more transparent about activities and finances by holding community based informative Town Halls. 

Will any other employment or business venture in which you are vested present a conflict of interest for you as a Bulloch County BOE member? Please explain your answer.

a) In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest arising in your official duties, how would you handle such a conflict to ensure maintenance of public trust?

Presently, there are no employment or business venture which will detour me from my official duties.  If one should arise, I will be transparent in the venture and I will be forthcoming to correct the issue to delude the conflict to ensure my official duties will not be interrupted.

Is there anything else you’d like the public to know about you?

Hello, I am Patrice Thomas Ellison, a Statesboro native and mother of children who attend the Bulloch County school system district.  I am running for Bulloch County School Board Member representing District 3. I want to pour into the Bulloch County school district what has poured so much into my primary education. I will pay homage to the past legacies of the board but give a fresh new spin to elevate excellence in our education system with passion, persistence and understanding. You can count on me to 1) Advocate for students; 2) Build bridges of trust between students, parents, and teachers; and 3) ensure the mental and physical safety of our children.

Bulloch BOE District 3 Map

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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