Newton is elected to CCSD School Board

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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Frederick “Reco” Newton has defeated longtime board member, Jeffery Finch to become the District 1 representative for the Chambers County School Board. With no one qualifying as a republican candidate for a general election, Newton has won the seat. 

“I am very excited. The people have spoken and they’re ready for change. And that’s a good thing. So I’m just excited about the opportunity to lead District 1,” Newton said.

The voter turnout in the valley precinct was relatively high, considering it was a primary election. Newton received 147 votes while Finch received 111 votes cast at the Valley Sportsplex, the polling location for district one. 

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Newton is a newcomer to politics but has been in education for decades. He has been a teacher, athletic director, and football coach for over 20 years, currently working at Loachapoka High School. However, he began his career at Valley High School, his alma mater. His campaign focused on being a voice for Chambers County, whose citizens he says have not been heard in the past.

He congratulated Dr. Sharon Weldon, who won the superintendent primary race. 

“If [voters] want change, they will make change… that’s why they got with Weldon, they got out there and voted, because it wasn’t satisfied with the job that the other opponent was doing,” Newton said. 

Newton finished by saying, “I just want to thank everybody who came on and voted it takes a village and I have a strong belief and I want to thank my village for supporting me and putting me in office and I want the one I’m looking forward to being a voice for district 1.”

As for what is next for Newton, he made it clear that his time in office will be spent holding himself and those around him accountable as elected officials. 

Jeffrey Finch has served on the school board since 2006. The majority of his career was spent at Michelin Tire Company before working as the Chief Operating Officer for Doowon USA. He has been vocal in his support for the consolidated school and its location in Valley.

Finch sent the VTN a response via email after the results were in.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those who supported and believed in our vision for the future of our schools,” Finch stated. “The democratic process is a testament to the diversity of opinions and voices within our community. While the results of the school board race may not have gone in my favor, I respect the voice of the people of District 1 and Chambers County.

He continues to say that he will use the rest of his term to work for the community and the education of the county’s children. 

As I mentioned during the candidate forum, it’s disheartening to witness efforts towards segregation rather than unity. Nevertheless, my commitment to serving our youth remains unwavering. It’s ultimately about ensuring a brighter future for our children, and that will always be my priority,” Finch ended. 

Newton will begin his next term in 2024 and serve for four years.