Barton running for school board

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 20, 2015

James Barton has announced his candidacy for Covington County Board of Education, Place 3.

Barton, an optometrist, is the owner of Ensight Eyecare, where he has been in practice for the past five years.


“My wife, Monica, and I are having a kid,” he said. “I had been considering the school board for a long time. I felt like this was the right time.

“I think serving would put me in a position to effect change, and help the school system move forward,” Barton said. “I want my kid to have every possibility. I feel like I can bring some different perspectives to table.

“I am a fresh face, and have fresh ideas,” the Straughn High School graduate said. “Hopefully, we can move forward, and make some changes.”

Barton said he’d like to see Covington County Schools embrace more technology.

“In this economy, technology is king,” he said. “We have to offer the kids and understanding of how technology affects the job market, and which jobs will disappear because of technology.”

He also wants the county system to explore ways to offer more advanced placement classes.

“We are falling way behind the city school systems, and some of the surrounding county school systems who have more than we have to offer,” he said. “This will put us at a competitive disadvantage with other school systems. Those students will have academic opportunities we’re not going to be able to offer.”

He used the example of an optometry school classmate who completed her undergraduate work two years early because she’d taken advantage of advanced placement classes.

“It’s huge for students,” he said.

Barton earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Troy University before enrolling in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry.

The Bartons are active in Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.