After provisional ballots cast in the Aug. 25 Scottsboro municipal election Dr. Gary Speers has won the election for Scottsboro Board of Education Place 5 by one vote. Speers received 1,628 votes to his opponent, Julie Gentry, the incumbent representative’s 1,627 votes.
After counting there were 11 provisional ballots cast during the election. Seven of those votes were found to be invalid. The other four were found to be valid votes and counted. Heading into the tally Speers had a one vote lead. Of those four counted they were split evenly between the two candidates.
Speers, a former principal at Brownwood Elementary School, has been an educator for over two decades. While Speers was at Brownwood the school received two A ratings in 2018 and 2019 from the Alabama Board of Education
Speers has served on the Scottsboro City Council. He has recently been working as a research scientist at the University of Alabama Huntsville.
During the campaign Speers was a strong advocate for embracing e-learning platforms while emphasizing how COVID-19 has changed the landscape for educators.
“Now we’re living in different times,” said Speers at a candidate forum held prior to the election. “As many of us have heard the three R’s of writing, reading and arithmetic now we’re in the three W’s, the wearing of masks, the washing of hands and social distancing.”
After the election on Aug. 25, Speers was in the lead over Gentry with the totals at 1,626 to 1,625. Speers had noted that he was relieved on the night, now he’s excited to get to work.
“I feel great,” said Speers after learning he had officially won the election at the City Council meeting on Monday. The newly elected Board of Education member added that “one vote counts, one vote matters, your vote counts. Every vote counts.”
According to the City Council on Monday, Board of Education members are set to take office immediately after election.
Speers will be joined by Patrick Woosley as a new member on the Scottsboro Board of Education. Woosley will be filling the seat vacated by Coach John Esslinger after Esslinger’s retirement from the board and is set to be sworn in on Sept. 3.