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Scott enters board of education race
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Marcus Scott - photo by Courier file photo
Trusting the public will allow him to put all mistakes behind him, Marcus Scott has recently decided to further his career by running for the District 3 seat on the Board of Education.
Scott attracted community attention and set the BoE abuzz two years ago when then superintendent, Dr. Steve Wilmoth, presented a motion to have Scott fired from his eighth grade teaching position for previous sexual misconduct with a 15 year-old girl, six years his junior.
The recommendation for termination came from the minor's mother, who sought some kind of recompense after the 1999 sexual relations resulted in a child.
Though Scott was a substitute teacher at the time of the incident and sexual relations did not occur on school grounds, the board decided to relieve him of his five-year teaching position at Midway Middle School.
Scott knows he made a mistake, but is willing to address it.
"That's something, of course, that I knew would come up," he admitted. "Everybody does stuff that they're not proud of."
But Scott believes his renewed teacher certification from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission endorses his capability.
"They (GPSC) found that there was no cause for anything immoral and my certificate is completely cleared," he said. "They cleared me of anything the Liberty County Board of Education said I did wrong."
The re-certification process includes a background check and must be renewed every five years in order for an educator to continue teaching.
"If Professional Standards felt that I was capable of doing something illegal, currently, in the classroom, then I wouldn't be an administrator right now," Scott explained.
The Liberty County resident is currently the assistant principal at Risley Middle School in Brunswick.
Since the time of his termination in Liberty County, Scott has earned his master's and educational specialist degree. He is working on earning a doctoral degree.
His certification and progressions in the profession speak more for his qualifications than his past mistakes, according to Scott.
"Of course people are going to consider it," he said. "I don't think it should be the main focus because it's not about me, per se, but it's about what I could do for the community."
As BoE member, Scott believes he could help "turn the system from a good school system to a great school system."
"Everything that we do pretty much needs to focus on academic achievement," he said.
Scott wants to set a system that will "hold everyone accountable."
"We know with the high-stakes testing it's holding the students accountable, but we must make sure that the central office and principals are also held accountable."
"Sometimes we have board meetings and we're not always focused in on what's best for students."
Scott believes "85 percent of the board meeting should be focused on student achievement."
He is looking to add some "positive interventions," to the Ombudsman program.
He mentioned an early college program that is in place in Glynn County.
"I feel with the resources and technology that's in Liberty County...we could be doing a lot better," Scott said.
"I think what's lacking on the board right now is just people who are knowledgeable in all areas," he said.
Scott believes he is a "more qualified person to be on the board," and is willing to make the "necessary" changes.
Scott feels he brings various perspectives in education.
"I have a child in the system. I'm currently an administrator. I've been an educator, so I know the teaching perspective and can see all viewpoints."
Scott has been raising the eight year-old son that resulted from the union and the child attends a Liberty County school.
Scott described himself as "very community-oriented," participating in the NAACP, Eleven Black Men and Hi-Fidelity Club.
"I always wanted to give back to the community and I feel being a board member, being a positive role model, would allow me to do that," he said.
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