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School board election is Tuesday
Yvette Keel
Dr. Yvette Keel is one of two candidates running for the District 6 seat on the Liberty County Board of Education. - photo by Photo provided.

By Tuesday evening, voters in Liberty County’s District 6 should know who will represent them on the Board of Education.

The race between Dr. Yvette Keel and Justin McCartney for the open seat is almost at an end with advanced voting finishing Friday.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, only 89 out of 3,673 registered voters in District 6, or just 2.4 percent, had cast a ballot during advanced voting — 87 in Hinesville and two in Midway. District 6 became available when Sampie Smith resigned from the position in February, shortly after winning the regular election in November.

Keel and McCartney say they are qualified for the position and can help the board make good decisions for Liberty County schools.
McCartney, who works in the finance department at Gulfstream and is the chairman of the Hinesville Development Authority, said hewould bring his financial background and ability to collaborate with others to the board. McCartney worked at Head Start for six months, which he said gave him an appreciation for education.

“It’s one thing to say some things should happen and not jump in. It’s easy to go ahead and criticize from the sidelines. I’m a licensed CPA as well, so I think that education and experience will add a lot of value to the board and a different perspective,” McCartney told the Courier in an interview last month. “If we make poor financial decisions in the beginning, then I think we end up having to make decisions that we don’t want to make, and then we end up in a situation in which we’re cutting teachers’ days in the classroom.”

Keel is a retired educator who wants to give back to her community. She started in Hinesville as the choir director at Bradwell Institute, then became assistant principal at three schools: Hinesville Middle School, Lewis Frasier Middle School and Waldo Pafford Elementary.

“I had been raised that you give back. When you have the ability to help or to give back to something that has been good to you, then you take that opportunity. I see this position on the school board as my opportunity to give back to the community,” Keel said last month. “The most important thing is education and teachers feeling like they are supported and have the resources to provide a good education. That’s why I’m running.”

Voters will have one more chance to choose who they want on the board. Election Day is Tuesday. All voting precincts in District 6 will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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