By Taylor Boyd
Thomas Auker is seeking his third term on the Henry County School Board.
Auker, who is the incumbent in the Blackberry District, is unopposed in the November election.
He said he is seeking re-election to use the knowledge he has accumulated throughout his tenure “to support the students, for the health of the teachers, and to give them opportunities to seek higher goals.”
A previous teacher with 20 years’ experience in teaching in the Henry County school division, Auker said his education and the opportunities he’s had to interact with the community allow him to be a helpful resource.
He also wants to be involved in the reversion process as it relates to the county and the Martinsville City school divisions, and help students acclimate to the future changes.
Auker believes students should be the primary focus of the school board and should be provided more “opportunities to work with technology” to better their futures. He said the board also should “involve students in decision-making and work with the teachers to give them the tools they need to educate the students.”
Auker believes the school system should continue as it is currently, while building upon existing programs and projects.
“To make test scores better and continue the high graduation rates, those would be my goals for the future,” he said.
His other goals as a board member include giving teachers raises and improving safety within the schools.
“Working through the pandemic has not been an easy road, but we have come out ahead. I think that has been an achievement not only for me, but the whole board,” he said.
Auker is proud of the academic and athletic awards Henry County students have received, particularly throughout the pandemic. He said he is also pleased with the pay scale of school employees and the top-notch administrators of the schools.
Auker said he “feels good about continuing in that direction.”
Auker holds a B.S. and a Master of Divinity degree and is a retired teacher. Many members of his family have attended Henry County Schools, including his three children and some of his seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Auker likes to work outside and enjoys gardening.