CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Residents of Kanawha County had the chance to meet the candidates running for Board of Education during a forum Tuesday evening.

11 individuals are vying for a seat or to retain their position on the board. Incumbents running for reelection are Kate White from District 1, Jim Crawford from District 3 and Ric Cavender out of District 4.

Tuesday’s forum was held at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Charleston. Candidates answered questions and discussed a range of topics from student behavior and test scores to bus driver and teacher shortages.

Jim Crawford, who has served on the Kanawha County School Board since 2000, said he’s still in it for the kids.

“I’m all about what’s best for our children in Kanawha County,” he said.

Crawford’s been in the education system for over 56 years in Kanawha County. He’s a retired teacher and coach from St. Albans High School.

Kate White, another current board member, is a parent of three children who are in Kanawha County Schools. She said that’s important to someone who wants to serve on the board.

“I very much care about our students and our kids and I have a lot of experience with working with them,” said White, who replaced her husband Ryan on the board. He’s running for the Intermediate Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Dr. Casey Sacks is currently the President at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in Charleston. She said as a lifelong educator herself, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping students achieve in the classroom.

“I love being a part of the school system,” she said. “It’s something I’ve dedicated my career to.”

Kanawha County parent Emily Lanham said if she were elected to the board, she’d make sure there’s no unnecessary spending and that every decision made is one that benefits the students and teachers.

“Does the end justify the means,” she asked. “We need people on the board who are so dedicated and so loving to our students.”

Lanham is the mother to five children who are or have learned at Nitro.

Dennis Westover has spent many years in construction as an electrical engineer. He believes his expertise in that field and teaching younger generations the skills needed to succeed in the workforce will help him as a member of the school board.

“We need to make our schools great again,” Westover said. “We need to do things better that are more about going back to the basics.”

Westover has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry.

Harry Bruner is an attorney with a long line of family members that learned and graduated from Kanawha County schools including his four children. He has a great concern for how kids today are learning and the low test scores that have the state ranked towards the bottom.

“Is 100% good enough for today’s students,” asked Bruner. “I’m going to suggest that 110% is better. We should let teachers teach.”

Other candidates who were not at the forum Tuesday are Heidi Bonnet Adams, Ric Cavender, Will Ferrell and Elisha Lewis.

The Primary Election in West Virginia is Tuesday, May 14. Early voting starts May 1.