3 candidates want to unseat incumbent in OPS Subdistrict 2 race

A single mother of three OPS students, a community activist less than 10 years out of high school, and an Air Force veteran turned martial arts enthusiast, all former OPS students running to contest the incumbent Marque Snow for the seat to be dethroned in OPS sub-district 2. Snow has been in office since 2013, including as president. “The work we started in 2013, the Bond campaigns of ’14 and ’18, and our strategic plan of action with our current superintendent, Dr. Logan, I want to see these programs through,” Snow said. Snow, who spends his free time playing sports, said the pandemic has strengthened the district: “We have more students applying to be teachers because they see the effort out there, we have more families applying because they see what we’re doing,” Snow said. Sharnelle Shelton is a small business owner and works for the VA, but her world revolves around her sons. “, Shelton said. Keeping up with them, she said, inspired her to run for public office. “I’m not a politician. I’m just a parent who cares not just about my kids, but the district’s kids and the outcome, and it’s important to invest in our kids,” Shelton said. Shelton believes there are lessons to be learned from the difficulties of the pandemic and wants to “make counseling cool for schools,” Shelton said. Bri Full is the youngest candidate in this race. She grew out of the foster care system and worked in education was one of those needy kids and I understand what it takes for them to be successful,” said Full. Full cooperation with State Sen. Carol Blood in the legislative session. “I wanted to get involved because I feel like I can make a difference . I think helping other people is my purpose in life,” Full said. Completing the school-to-prison pipeline is a priority for this candidate. “That’s especially important to my constituents in Subdistrict 2 because we’re a primarily Black area are,” said Full. The staffing shortage at OPS is of paramount concern to Full and Shelton. “I am particularly interested in recruiting color teachers,” said Full, who is of the Omaha Education Association and the Nebraska State Education Association. Shelton said she runs to inspire other parents and guardians to volunteer for the students. “I want to challenge my community to volunteer and get involved,” Shelton said. Melvin Muhammad agrees, which is why he’s fighting for that seat. “It’s about the kids, it’s really not about Melvin Muhammad,” Muhammad said. “I am a concerned citizen about the education of all children in the Omaha Public School System.” The martial arts teacher wants to take a hands-on approach by going back to school. “I will sit in every classroom that I can sit in, whether it’s reading, whether it’s math. I will sit down, become a disciple,” said Muhammad. His goal? Higher graduation rates. The district’s graduation rate decreased by 3.2% from 2019 to 2020. “I tell most people I’m just your brother and try to do my best for a community I live in,” Muhammad said. Snow feels he still has some homework to do before he’s ready to graduate on the board. “I want my community to look back and say, you know what, we elected a good person to represent us and he’s served our community because he’s a real public servant,” Snow said.

A single mother of three OPS students, a community activist less than 10 years out of high school, and an Air Force veteran turned martial arts enthusiast, all former OPS students running to contest the incumbent Marque Snow for the seat to be dethroned in OPS sub-district 2.

Snow has been in office since 2013, including as president.

“The work we started in 2013, the Bond campaigns of ’14 and ’18, and our strategic plan of action with our current superintendent, Dr. Logan, I want to see these programs through,” Snow said.

Snow, who spends his free time playing sports, said the pandemic has made the district stronger.

“We’ve got more students applying to be teachers because they see the effort out there, we have more families getting involved because they see the work we’re doing,” Snow said.

Sharnelle Shelton is a small business owner and works for the VA, but her world revolves around her sons.

“I just got sick of being part of the problem and complaining and decided to be part of the solution,” Shelton said.

Keeping up with them, she said, inspired her to run for public office.

“I’m not a politician. I’m just a parent who cares not just about my kids, but the district’s kids and the outcome, and it’s important to invest in our kids,” Shelton said.

Shelton believes there are lessons to be learned from the difficulties of the pandemic and wants to make “advice cool”.

“There are many social-emotional needs that are not being addressed, and these need to be met in order for our children to have safe schools,” Shelton said.

Bri Full is the youngest contestant in this race. She grew out of the foster care system and worked in education.

“I was one of those needy kids and I understand what it takes to be successful,” Full said.

Full cooperation with State Sen. Carol Blood in the legislature.

“I wanted to get involved because I feel like I can make a difference. I think my purpose in life is to help other people,” Full said.

Completing the pipeline from school to prison is a priority for this candidate.

“This is especially important to my subdistrict 2 constituents because we’re a primarily black area,” Full said.

The staffing shortage at OPS is of paramount concern to Full and Shelton.

“I’m particularly interested in recruiting color teachers,” said Full, who has support from the Omaha Education Association and the Nebraska State Education Association.

Shelton said she runs to inspire other parents and guardians to volunteer for the students.

“I want to challenge my community to volunteer and get involved,” Shelton said.

Melvin Muhammad agrees, which is why he’s fighting for that seat.

“It’s about the kids, it’s really not about Melvin Muhammad,” Muhammad said. “I am a concerned citizen about the education of all children in the Omaha Public School System.”

The martial arts teacher wants to take a hands-on approach by going back to school.

“I will sit in every classroom that I can sit in, whether it’s reading, whether it’s math. I will sit down, become a disciple,” said Muhammad.

His goal? Higher graduation rates. The district’s graduation rate decreased by 3.2% from 2019 to 2020.

“I tell most people I’m just your brother and try to do my best for a community I live in,” Muhammad said.

Snow feels he still has some homework to do before he’s ready to graduate on the board.

“I want my community to look back and say, you know what, we elected a good person to represent us and he’s served our community because he’s a real public servant,” Snow said.

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