The Student News Site of John Overton High School

2015 Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions posed by Overton Seniors

Contributing to this story are reporters: Teri Watkins, Katie Palmer, Treena Do, Tatiana Figaroa Photographers: America Leon, Seth Langley, Mike Strasinger, Audrey Phipps, Blake Junier Pictures in slideshow appear with music randomly

From the Publishers:

Below you will find the text of the Youth Mayoral Forum on 4.10.15 held at John Overton High School at 7:15.

A couple of facts to keep in mind about the “Live-Tweet Text” you will read below.

  • Students both in development of the project, planning, promotion and performance both in context of the forum itself and the the social media led the Mayoral Forum. For those who do not teach, what that means is students wrote the script, planned the rehearsals, wrote the bios, questions, conceived of the best possible way to run the forum, promote the forum and delivery the contents of the forum to the Overton Community and the extended Nashville community.

The Bobcatbeat has reproduced the text of the live tweet with following:

  • Full text of questions for purpose of clarity
  • Eliminated numbers of “retweet information” except where there was an immediate flurry of activity
  • Removed the Twitter icons except where there were notable interjections.
  • It was the intent to not editorialize candidate responses and tweets were limited to one or two tweet responses for each candidate, each question.
  • It should be noted that Megan Berry did not attend, and that Charles Bone was a few minutes late. Student commentary folliwng the forum overwhelming noted this.

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0055

Live Tweeting Test: 4.10.15

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 9

New live tweet hashtag #JOHSmayorQA follow youth mayoral forum here starting tomorrow 7:15am @OvertonMNPS @MetroSchools @PrincipalPelham


BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

You know it! you’d much rather read the Live Tweets of the Mayor Q & A than you know …anything #JOHSMAYORQA @OvertonMNPS @whitneygirlster

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0013

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Dr. Shuler Pelham begins his welcome, credits Mrs. William’s class for this PBL, introduces moderator Emma Moriarty #JOHSMAYORQA

16 retweets 3 favorites

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0016Emma Moriarty extends her thanks to the candidates and welcomes them to the city’s first student-led Q&A #JOHSMAYORQA


BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0017April Prather introduces the candidate Megan Barry, who unfortunately is unable to be here today #JOHSMAYORQA


Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0019Jeff Palomino introduces candidate Charles Robert Bone #JOHSMAYORQA


Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0020Josh Stackhouse introduces candidate David Fox #JOHSMAYORQA


Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0024Katie Palmer introduces candidate Bill Freeman #JOHSMAYORQA


Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0026Selwyn Southerland introduces candidate Howard Gentry #JOHSMAYORQA


Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0027L.A. Woodard introduces candidate Jeremy Kane #JOHSMAYORQA


Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0029Awaz Suileman introduces candidate Linda Eskind Rebrovick #JOHSMAYORQA



BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Q&A begins, 5 students will ask 1 question each; candidates have 1 min. to respond w/ an extra 30 sec. intro for 1st question #JOHSMAYORQA

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

To avoid confusion, the order in which the candidates will answer was determined last night #JOHSMAYORQA

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

The student moderator has finished explaining the rules, the session is about to start #JOHSMAYORQA

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Q 1: Jonathan Stovall asks about the candidates’ views and positions on standardized testing #JOHSMAYORQA

{Insert of Full Text of Question}

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0033

In class we researched standardized testing and discovered that our state spends millions of dollars on it. We also reviewed theMNPS testing calendar and discovered that many days were devoted to these assessments.  We had discussions about whether there was too much or too little testing.  What is your position on standardized testing? Do you think the amount of testing should increase or decrease and do you believe these assessments are an accurate measure of student achievement?

James Stephens III [email protected]  Apr 10

And the first student led mayoral Q&A begins! Awesome opportunity for JOHS, MNPS, and Nashville #JOHSMAYORQA

11 retweets4 favorites

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0034Kane: Accountability is crticial, administration should be aware of accurate assessments and goals to help students #JOHSMAYORQA

Rebrovick: Students learn differently, it is important to balance and give everyone a chance to show their skills #JOHSMAYORQA

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0035


Susan Strasinger [email protected]  Apr 10

If you are not following live tweet on #JOHSMAYORQA then you missing how the future leadership of Nashville is going to garner votes

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0051Fox: Pendulum has swung too far in regards to the extent of testing. Maintaining high standards &cutting back on testing is key #JOHSMAYORQA

Freeman: Davidson County differs from surrounding counties; with over 140 languages spoken, too much emphasis is put on tests  Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0038#JOHSMAYORQA

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0039Gentry: Accountability is necessary among administration. Too much change in education style has occurred.  #JOHSMAYORQA @MrStephens3 @MetroSchools @johsbobcatbeat great picture @JOHSBobcatBeat: #JOHSMAYORQA #JOHSMAYQAMayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0040

Bone: Assessments are important for a city like Nashville competing with cities around the nation and world #JOHSMAYORQA

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Q 2: Haley Wilham asks the candidates for their thoughts on class size and its impact on education #JOHSMAYORQA

{Insert of Full Text of Question}Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0043

According to the website,, students who are in smaller class sizes are more likely to stay in school and earn better grades.  Our data at Overton shows that 31% of our classes have over 30 students and 50% have over 25 students in them.  In these large classrooms, some students are not able to receive individual attention and students with disabilities often do not get the attention they need.  What is your position on class size and its impact on student achievement?

Rebrovick: Will work with administration, schools, and principals to decrease class size, commends Overton for its progress #JOHSMAYORQA

Bone: Class size is important, allow principals to make more decisions; funding would be beneficial to school systems #JOHSMAYORQA

Fox: Need for greater staffing, mainly a funding issue; as mayor, will be aggressive in helping the schools determine S-T ratio #JOHSMAYORQA

Freeman: Overcrowding is rampant, resources must be devoted to alleviate that within schools #JOHSMAYORQA

Gentry: Will support schools financially to alleviate overcrowding in schools. Emphasized importance of education quality #JOHSMAYORQA

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0057Q 3: Tha Mee, a student born in Burma, begins his question in his native language #JOHSMAYORQA

{Insert of Full Text of Question}

  • In Karen: Hi. I am Tha Mee. I am from Burma and I speak Karen.

In English: Research says that it takes 5-7 years to learn a second language.  At Overton 56% of students are non-native English speakers.  Not having any English when I first came to the United States I was required to take the math End of Course test in English. After my first year, I was required to take the English End of Course test. What is your belief about supporting schools with high EL population?  Also, what is your stance on holding schools with high EL populations accountable when it comes to standardized tests?

Kane: We need a nurturing relationship with each student, counselors need to help ELL and prepare all students for college #JOHSMAYORQA

Kane: 1 teacher, 1 mentor, 6 students vs. 1 teachers, 30 students #JOHSMAYORQA

Tha Mee asks the candidates about supporting high-EL schools and their accountability when it comes to stan. tests #JOHSMAYORQA

Freeman: Acknowledges diversity within Nashville and its challenges. Emphasizes importance to address this issue #JOHSMAYORQA

MNPS Families [email protected]  Apr 10

All students have voice at OHS! @JOHSBobcatBeat: Tha Mee, a student born in Burma, begins his question in his native language #JOHSMAYORQA

View conversation8 retweets6 favorites

Gentry: Nashville brags on its diversity, we must work hard to assess standardized tests and not be a contradiction #JOHSMAYORQA

Kane: Increasing funding is necessary to support EL and address diversity. Accountability and partnership are key. #JOHSMAYORQA

Rebrovick: We need to do everything we can to find the most innovative solutions, if you need help, it will be available #JOHSMAYORQA

Bone: We know this must be a priority, and celebrated; We have the right leadership, funding has to be a priority #JOHSMAYORQA

emily munn [email protected]  Apr 10

#JOHSMAYORQA  is truly the #coolestthingisawtoday so enjoying this perspective.  Thanks @JOHSBobcatBeat

Fox: Persistent gains are being made to improve EL education. Hopes this will continue #JOHSMAYORQA


BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Q 4: Ravi Patel asks for the candidates’ opinions on the differences between Charter Schools and Public Schools #JOHSMAYORQAMayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0072

{Insert of Full Text of Question}

Charter schools and traditional public schools receive the same amount of public funding. However, a charter school can do more things with the money given to them and they are allowed to pick and choose students. Public schools are required to take all students unless there is a serious matter and public schools can only do certain things with their money.  As mayor, what is your position on these differences?

Bone: We can’t spend all our time and energy talking about just Charter Schools, just one piece of the puzzle #JOHSMAYORQA

Fox: Charter schools show great performance. Having competition among schools is important. In favor of Charter & trad. schools #JOHSMAYORQA

Freeman: Co-operation and collaboration is not taking place as effectively as it could  #JOHSMAYORQA

Gentry: We need to ensure that all schools provide quality education. Each school style has its place. #JOHSMAYORQA

Kane: Having started 5 charters, he will support letting schools be schools and lettings principals and teachers do their jobs #JOHSMAYORQA

Rebrovick: Funding and flexibility is important among schools, commends academies in MNPS #JOHSMAYORQA


BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  Apr 10

Mayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0089Q 5:Kyle Whitely asks the candidates about how they plan to deal with some of the problems regarding public transit #JOHSMAYORQA

{Insert of Full Text of Question}

As our city’s population continues to increase, we experience major traffic issues across the city. A lot of immigrants need to travel into the city but do not have means of transportation. Students, senior citizens and regular citizens born here also struggle with this issue. What is your solution to the lack of public transportation in the city?

Gentry: A lot of students can’t move around their community, more buses are needed to move people around #JOHSMAYORQA

Kane: Increased ridership via public transit is important, desires acommodation for students w/ technology assistance  #JOHSMAYORQA

Rebrovick: Smarter Nashville=smarter transportation, teams laying bus routes on high density neighborhoods, technology can help #JOHSMAYORQA

Bone: Traffic is a major issue, Franklin Rd. looks different than Gallatin, a longer term vision is needed to make a plan #JOHSMAYORQA

Fox: Mass transit is necessary for city growth. Buses that move around the city are critical. #JOHSMAYORQA

 @JOHSBobcatBeat awesome job  #JOHSMAYORQA who knew students could do such a seamless job of public relations!

View conversation3 retweets3 favorite

The Q&A session has now ended #JOHSMAYORQAMayoral Youth Forum 4-10-15 0101

The candidates are now giving their closing remarks #JOHSMAYORQA

Freeman: We are 10 years late in implementing a mass transit system, has an 8yr vision involving surrounding counties #JOHSMAYORQA

Bone’s closing remarks: Pledges to bring education system that says our youth matter.  #JOHSMAYORQA

Fox’s closing remarks: Nashville has changed, but the people are still civil, running to beat the odds and keep the city great #JOHSMAYORQA

Gentry’s closing remarks: Thanks the students that care enough to be a part of the process, looks forward to being team player #JOHSMAYOR

Freeman’s closing remarks: Desires to give back to community. Business background is a strong platform on which to serve. #JOHSMAYORQA

Kane’s closing remarks: Commends Nashville for being a great city. Wants people to say great things about Nash in the future #JOHSMAYORQA

 Youth Mayoral Forum 4-10-15 0231

Metro Schools [email protected]  Apr 10

Kudos to the students at Overton High School for asking sharp questions of the mayoral candidates. #engagedyouth #JOHSMAYORQA

13 retweets14 favorites



Rebrovick’s closing remarks: Thanks everyone for the program, wants to make sure Nashville can achieve its potential greatness #JOHSMAYORQA

 Dr. Pelham gives closing remarks. #JOHSMAYORQA

Metro Schools [email protected]  Apr 10

And a big shoutout to @JOHSBobcatBeat for exceptional student journalism – yet again. #JOHSMAYORQA

6 retweets9 favorites

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  18h18 hours agoNashville, TN

From BB Media Grab press room of  #JOHSMAYORQA event [email protected] [email protected]

Youth Mayoral Forum 4-10-15 0238

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  18h18 hours agoNashville, TN

From BB Media Grab press rm #JOHSMAYORQA [email protected] @DavidFox615 @freemanformayor @kaneformayor @linda4nashville

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  18h18 hours agoNashville, TN

S/O to Ms. C William’s Gov’t students & rocking leadership @OvertonMNPS #JOHSMAYORQA

BobcatBeat.Net [email protected]  18h18 hours agoNashville, TN

From BB Media Grab press rm #JOHSMAYORQA [email protected] @DavidFox615 @freemanformayor @kaneformayor @linda4nashville

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