special section: randy boyd Thank you for taking the time to share with our educators today. On behalf of our members, I would like to say we are grateful you are offering yourself for Governor. Please share with educators a little about who you are, and why you are running for Governor. I am running for Governor to expand opportunities for all Tennesseans. As Governor, if elected, I will have three clear goals: Without great teachers we could not have made that school a reality. My experience helping to launch higher education opportunity programs like knoxAchieves, the Drive to 55 and Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect has given me unique insight into the importance of getting all students prepared for the next level of opportunities. For me, education is not just about helping students get a great education, but it is about creating opportunities for better jobs and better lives for Tennesseans. By establishing big and bold goals we can continue to build on progress we have made and go even higher, leading to Tennessee becoming the Smartest State in the South. • Complete the Drive to 55 to ensure students and Tennesseans of all ages are prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We made quite a few changes in public education in Tennessee the last decade - some necessary, some debatable. What are we doing right? • Be #1 in the Southeast for High Quality Jobs. As the fastest-improving state in the nation, Tennessee is a national leader. I believe we are on the right track and have positive momentum, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize. Some of the basic foundations center around the following: First and foremost, I am a proud husband, father and 7th generation Tennessean. A Republican and principled conservative. And a business owner. • Have zero distressed counties in Tennessee by 2025. No matter the audience, when asked why I’m running for Governor I always come back to education. For us to continue to move forward in education we must have teachers at the table. Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other in-school factor. We cannot expect to make the progress for ALL students without your ideas, input and leadership. Working to improve education is not a new issue for me. Some of my most valuable insights into the challenges we face when working to improve education came when helping to form a public-private partnership to make one of our Knoxville local schools the heart of the community and ensuring that the school became the nexus for providing each child a great education and the social, emotional, wellness and mental health support to learn and flourish. • The higher academic standards we set for students, which Tennessee educators helped craft; • The feedback and professional development systems we created, which Tennessee teachers have provided direct feedback of how this is helping them improve classroom instruction. • That we are listening and engaging teachers in meaningful ways and we need to do more of it. We need to make sure that all the assessment and evaluation and accountabilities are centered around the very practical need to make sure the teacher-student-parent relationship is the most productive partnership that maximizes every child’s God-given potential and talents.