Mike Mahathy, who has served on two school-related councils, is running for Oak Ridge Board of Education.
It wasn’t an easy decision, Mahathy said in a press release.
“I labored over it for weeks, as I am not a politician,” said Mahathy, a health physicist at ORAU. “I’m just a citizen, a husband, a father, yet that is why I decided to run, for my children and more importantly for yours.
“When I leave this life, I hope that it can be said that Mike Mahathy made a difference for children, at least in a little way.”
The press release said Mahathy co-founded a charity that provides assistance to orphans of the Yunnan Province, China. And he now serves as volunteer Caring Kids Coordinator for another adoption, helping with daily life needs, education, and transitioning to adult life. Mahathy also assists in a children’s ministry at his church.
Mahathy said he served as an officer on the Oak Ridge Preschool advisory council in 2005 and 2006, and he has served on the Oak Ridge Schools superintendent’s PTA/PTO council since 2005. In addition, he helps, as his time allows, the parent-teacher organizations at his daughters’ schools.
Mahathy said he and his wife have three daughters, and they are 32 years old, almost 14, and 12. Their youngest two daughters have attended Oak Ridge Schools since 2005.
“We moved to Oak Ridge from another city nearby so our daughters could attend Oak Ridge Schools,” Mahathy said. “At that time, I thought of the Oak Ridge school system as the beacon of education in East Tennessee. I still believe that. I want to keep our school system a beacon of education, not because we might say we are better, but because having a great school system is what we truly need to provide our children to prepare them for the global economy.”
Mahathy said his only priority is children, “all children living in our city, regardless of socioeconomic status, learning ability, ethnicity, race, gender, orientation or religion.
“A good education is the vehicle to carry our children into productive lives, given them the opportunities to accomplish the great things of their imaginations,” Mahathy said. “I was raised in a family of little financial means. I know from experience how hard it can be on families to meet basic needs. Yet I know education is the enabler for anyone to rise to new heights.”
He said he will listen to the community and seek public input.
“We may not always agree, but community input is important,” Mahathy said. “In my opinion, it is a right of every citizen! We need to come together and end years of divisiveness. I pledge to you total transparency. I pledge to justify every dollar provided to our school system.”
Mahathy said he will earn public trust, seek community support, and do everything he can as a school board member to “ensure your children, our children, every child, is given excellent preparation to go forward in our world.”