Wagner announces plans to seek school board position
Dr. Tommy Wagner of Manila has announced his plans to run for the Manila School Board.
Dr. Wagner grew up in Manila, graduating from Manila High School in 1994. Following college and medical school, he returned to his hometown and opened Wagner Medical Clinic.
Education is an important issue to Dr. Wagner.
"The economy within our state for the next five years will be critical for our school, county and our town," Dr. Wagner said. "Our town grew 10 percent in population which is good but our school enrollment is down by 40 students. That is $240,000 in funding our school will lose per year. We really need to hold on to what we have. We started a football program and we need students in order for it to continue and be successful.
"Our elementary school has been on probation for several years. The state watches the grades closely and our focus has to be on education. We have not met standards."
Wagner said other issues facing Manila School include space, security, and safety.
"In the next five years we will probably be building a new high school and all of these issues will have to be looked at," he said. "Since I have made such a large investment in Manila, I want to see it succeed. It is true, as the school goes, so does the town. My son is in the second grade here and I want it to be the best around for him and all of the other students. In the end the school benefits the entire community. No one is going to move here if we don't have a good school. Parents will drive out of town to work and live in Manila if there is a good school for their children."
"Education is under the spotlight right now. Regardless of the time parents spend with their children, our kids are at school more waking hours than anywhere else. There is a lot of pressure on our schools," Wagner said.
Dr. Wagner said he announced his plans early so he will have more time to talk one on one to people.
"The last time I ran (in 2008) I didn't feel I had time to get around to talking to people and sharing my ideas," Dr. Wagner said. "I want to let them know I am running for the right reasons. Starting now will give me more time to talk to the people about our school and its future."
The school board election is held in September.