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Bulloch Local Government

INSIDER: R. Ryan Brannen – Candidate for Bulloch County BOE – District 1

R. Ryan Brannen is running for District 1’s seat on the Bulloch County Board of Education. Learn more about him 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.

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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.

Post 1 for the Bulloch County Board of Education is being sought by R. Ryan Brannen and Glenn Womack. The seat is currently held by Cheri Wagner, who is not seeking reelection.

Please provide a brief bio on yourself.

I have been a citizen of Bulloch County my whole life. I have lived in the district I am running in my whole life also. My wife, Jamie, and I have attended and graduated from the public school system along with 3 of our 5 children, two of which are still in attendance in Portal middle High School, located in my district. I have been involved in Agriculture my whole life. I would love the opportunity to have your vote and represent you in the position of BOE District One.

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

I think it is necessary to have a connection at the local public school for a nominal period of time. My mother worked and retired from the Bulloch County School system. The interaction with the teachers and administration is very pertinent to know the day to day needs and struggles our teachers and admins face on a daily basis. I have had that pleasure as we took our kids to school and were involved in the Portal School Parent Board for 3 years. I heard first hand the needs and struggles the school goes through. I am friends with many of the teachers and admins throughout the school so I talk and listen to the needs of our teachers first and foremost.

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

  1. Teachers. They are the front line to our children and their education.
  2. Admins. they are the support and guidance for our schools.
  3. Facilities. some of the best in the area.

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

  1. Safety of our students and faculty.
  2. Spending. We need a board that will hold accountable the persons who use our tax dollars so our taxes will remain low.
  3. Make sure teachers have the necessary supplies and support they need in the classroom to effectively teach our children on a daily basis.

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?

I have worked with numerous entities over the years spanning over a wide demographic. I feel that I have the demeanor and attitude that I can work with anyone on any issues we may face or discuss.

With that being said, I also believe I can relay the needs of my district in a professional and cordial manner. I hope we can all find common ground on the issues at hand and operate with no disagreement as it has in the past.

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

I hope to provide my district with the safety it needs and deserves. I also hope to do my best to be frugal with the money that is entrusted to the board as to keep our taxes low.

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?

I feel like our county has worked hard to provide very diverse learning opportunities. I would hope the more diverse we become that I as a board member and the board as a whole would continue to seek out and pursue whatever we need to provide our children with safe and diverse learning opportunities.

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

I think our Board, with the guidance of our Sheriff Noel Brown, have made leaps and bounds from where we were a few years ago. Hiring the school resource officers was a wonderful step in ensuring the safety of our schools and children. I hope to build off of that and make sure all schools are equipped with proper and up to date communication equipment in case of emergencies. Continual training for our faculty and staff for emergencies would also be fundamental.

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

I think the board has sufficient policies in place to relay information to the public. What I see as an elected official should be more transparent to my district. I believe that the people should know within the law what is going on with our government. Transparency isn’t a strong suit as far as I’m concerned for any government office and I hope I can help within the law change that in our district if elected.

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?

I do not think so. I have prayed about this decision to run in this election countless times. I have chosen to run and I have dedicated myself and the time it will take to doing what I am elected to do.

Bulloch BOE District 1 Map

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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