Communication Builds Our Community

School Board Candidate Forum Available for Viewing Online

The four candidates for two Polk County School Board seats participated in an online forum that through Facebook has reached more than 6,000 viewers and garnered more than 1,100 comments.

Brandon Alvarado with the Lake Wales Arts Council moderated the July 27 forum, sponsored by Rotary on the Ridge, and

Incumbent Billy Townsend and challenger William Allen are vying for the District 1 seat, while incumbent Lori Cunningham is being challenged by Anita Carson for the District 2 seat. Winners in the Aug. 18 nonpartisan election will serve a four-year term.

For two hours, candidates fielded questions on a variety of topics, including: qualities for a new superintendent, opening of schools amid COVID-19 virus concerns, support for teachers, anticipated budget cuts, qualifications and how they prepare to be school board members, support for arts education, views on charter schools and private school vouchers, and how public schools can fight racism.

A video of the candidate forum can be viewed at


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