By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – State Board of Education member Cynthia McCarty will not seek reelection, she announced Wednesday.
McCarty, R-Anniston, has represented District 6 since 2015, serving one year as the board’s vice president and another as president pro tem.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with educators throughout the state and am proud of the strides the board has made, but it is time to pass the torch,” McCarty said in a press release.
The Jacksonville State University economics professor said she would like more flexibility to pursue career interests and spend time with her family.
“I have mixed emotions about this decision,” McCarty said, explaining she believes continuing to improve K-12 public schools is critical to the state’s future. “Much has been accomplished, but there is much work yet to do.”
During her time on the board McCarty has actively supported opportunities and stipends for high-quality instruction, such as more National Board Certified Teachers, LETRS training and Certified Academic Language Therapists.
Alabama is now 4th in the nation in the number of newly certified board certified teachers, McCarty said, due in part to the almost 800 scholarships awarded since 2017.
McCarty said she is especially proud of the thousands of teachers who are currently enrolled or have completed LETRS training, a program providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach reading more effectively.
District 6 had consisted of Morgan, Cullman, Marshall, Blount, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cherokee, and parts of DeKalb counties.
Under the new state board district map recently passed by the Legislature this month, District 6 loses Morgan and DeKalb counties but picks up Etowah and most of Talladega counties.
According to the Alabama Secretary of State’s campaign finance filing reports, no one has registered a new campaign for District 6, or any other school board district yet. McCarty is also the only board member to announce her retirement from the board. The 2022 qualifying deadline is Jan. 28.
McCarty has also served on the advisory board for the Calhoun County Schools’ Career Tech Academy and said improving career technical education was a priority while serving on the board.
“Witnessing young men and women actively engaged in welding, health science, auto technology, and more has been powerfully motivating,” McCarty said.
McCarty’s term officially ends in January 2023.