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School board race fields set

With school board race qualifying ending Friday, a former Lincoln County School District trustee will retake a board seat he’d previously lost while an incumbent board member will face an opponent in the November elections.

     In District One of the Lincoln County School Board, Martha Cole Lewman has qualified to challenge incumbent Kay Coon.

     Lewman retired this year from North Pike Elementary with 31 years of teaching experience, five years in second grade at Mamie Martin Elementary School and 26 years in kindergarten at North Pike.

     “My whole calling in life was to be a classroom teacher and make a difference in the lives of children,” Lewman said.

     Lewman said she aims to bring that same passion and drive for students to the board if she’s elected.

     Lewman is a 1977 graduate of Enterprise Attendance Center. Her father, Harry Cole, was a teacher at and coach at Enterprise, and she called the Enterprise district “home.”

     “It’s part of me, the school is,” Lewman said.

     Lewman said she’s eyed a school board run for several years.

     “It’s not something that’s spur of the moment,” she said.

     Lewman’s incumbent opponent Coon has served on the board since 2003, when she was appointed and then won a special election to complete her late husband’s term.

     Coon has previously said she wants to return to the board to continue the work she’s begun with Superintendent Terry Brister.

     In District Two, Johnny L. Hart is running unopposed to retake a board seat. Hart previously served on the board but was defeated in 2006 by Stacey Newell, who has declined to run again this year.

     “I’m just glad to have an easy election after two hard ones,” Hart said Friday.

     Hart, who works in McComb for the Mississippi Department of Transportation in McComb, said he’s excited about returning to the board.

     “I enjoyed being a part of trying to provide a quality education,” Hart said.    

     District One represents students zoned for Enterprise Attendance Center, while District Two includes children attending Loyd Star Attendance Center and some students at Enterprise.

     Board members serve six-year terms.