—School board candidates debate budget cuts and school reopening

  • Incumbent Mera Turner will take on challenger Ryan Scott in the race for the Lumpkin County Board of Education.
    Incumbent Mera Turner will take on challenger Ryan Scott in the race for the Lumpkin County Board of Education.

When should the schools reopen? Sooner or later? If a round of budget tightening is imminent what should be cut? What makes for a good school board candidate?
These questions and more were presented to challenger Ryan Scott and incumbent Mera Turner as they vie for the only contested seat on the Lumpkin County Board of Education.
The winning contender will be decided in the non-partisan election which will take place June 9. Early voting is currently underway.


Scott graduated from Lumpkin County High School in 1999 and attended Gainesville College. He served six years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and spent 13 years as a Certified Police Officer, working with both the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office and the University of North Georgia campus police.
Scott currently owns and operates Bull Mountain Lodge, a weddings and events venue, and works as a realtor.
Scott and his wife, Rachel, have three children, one each in Lumpkin County’s elementary, middle and high school. Rachel teaches at Blackburn Elementary School.


Turner formerly taught 7th grade science at Lumpkin County Middle School for 33 years before retiring. She continues to teach at Mountain Education Charter School and has a total of 45 years in the classroom.
During her time in the Lumpkin County School System she  supervised many UNG students performing their student teaching, several of whom are now teaching in the county schools. She was a team leader and grade level leader numerous times, and also served on the SAC committee as a chairperson. During her time at LCMS Turner was selected as Teacher of the Year on three occasions, and once as System Teacher of the Year.
Turner holds a B.S. and Master’s in biology from the University of North Georgia. She also earned a Leadership and Supervision degree from LMU.
She has one daughter, who teaches 3rd grade in the Gwinnett County school system, and two “grandpups.”

Q: Why did you decide to run for the BOE?
Scott: . . .

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