Covington elects school board members

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Incumbents Dr. Dean Pond and Lee Harmon will be returning to the Covington Board of Education along with a new face on the board next year, after voters elected James Rench to the open seat on the board.

Pond, the current president of the board, received 26.43 percent of the vote with 562 votes, according to unofficial election results.

Harmon received 27.7 percent of the vote with 589 votes.

Rench received 24.65 percent of the vote with 524 votes.

The remaining candidate, Katie Hamilton, received 21.21 percent of the vote with 451 votes.

Current board president returns

Pond has spent 55 years in education as a teacher, high school principal, superintendent, college professor, and, most recently, as a retired dean of College of Arts, Science and College of Education.

During Pond and Harmon’s time on the board, the board oversaw the construction of the new K-8 building.

Pond’s goals for the district include continuing to exercise prudent fiscal management of tax payer contributions, continuing to provide appropriate materials for meeting current needs of students and teachers, and encouraging an empathetic school environment that challenges and prepares students for future success.

In regard to the greatest need in the district, Pond noted he would like to see ongoing collaboration between educators, parents, and state legislators to define positive avenues for meeting student needs.

Harmon to return

Harmon is currently a sitting member on the board and has been for eight years, two of which he has served as the vice president of the board. He is the chief of police of the Covington Police Department and an adjunct faculty with Edison State Community College. He was honorably discharged as a non-commissioned officer of the United States Air Force.

Harmon previously noted he would like to continue to help provide Covington students with the best education available. Harmon’s goals for the district include improvement of the local report card, continuing capital improvements while also being financially responsible, promoting a safe campus for staff and students, and providing an education that is on par with the values of the Covington community.

Harmon also noted that he would like to expand Covington’s class offerings, such as the College Credit Plus classes, and see them taught by Covington teachers. He also would like to see an expansion of the district’s gifted education program K-12, and continue to stay on up-to-date with technology. Harmon added that he is also dedicated to the retention of quality staff and administrators.

New face heads to the board

Rench is a software support engineer for NCR Corporation and currently has three children in the school system. Rench is a 1980 graduate of Covington High School.

Rench hopes to bring a new perspective to the board and ensure that the major point of focus is to provide the students of the school district with the best opportunities to be successful.

Rench believes the current needs of the district are fiscal conservancy, now that the major building projects have been completed, and also improvements within some areas of the current curriculum.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at

Reach Sam Wildow at