Glisson running for school board

Published 12:43 am Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mark Glisson has announced his candidacy for Place 4 on the Covington County Board of Education.

Glisson said he has a vested interest in local schools because his children are students in the Covington County school system.

Mark Glisson

Mark Glisson

“I am the only one, of all the candidates and sitting incumbents, whose children are in the school system,” Glisson said. “I think that’s significant. My wife and I have our two most precious responsibilities in the school system.”

A chemical engineer by training, Glisson is the plant manager of Arclin, a local chemical manufacturing company.

“I’ve worked for companies that have boards of directors, and a very common feature about board members is that they own stock in the company; they are investors.

“The decisions they make have a direct and significant impact on the success of the company and their investments. They are compelled to make prudent and careful choices about the direction of the business. As a parent and potential board member, I can assure you that my focus is on helping all Covington County students achieve success. “I am passionate about insuring all of the children of Covington County have the opportunity to reach their highest potential,” he said.

Glisson said he is interested in both college and vocational readiness.

“Vocational readiness is an important issue to me,” he said.

His experience as a plant manager is that employers are filling non-skilled labor positions with skilled labor. While county students have an opportunity to take vocational classes as part of a dual enrollment program associated with technical colleges, not enough parents are aware of the opportunity, he said.

“I believe that we have an opportunity and responsibility to expand the programs available to students.  Those who participate have an immediate advantage over their peers in the job market,” he said. “They have a better opportunity to be gainfully employed, at an earlier point in their career than someone who enrolls in a program after high school.”

This also saves the student and/or his family money.

“This can have a very positive financial impact for families,” he said. “We need to make sure it’s an opportunity our students take advantage of.”

He also would like for county schools to provide more access to college entrance exam prep courses.

“Some people say it’s just a number, but it also translates into scholarships – real money that impacts the families of these students who are able to improve their scores,” he said.

He also would like to see the system expand its creative arts programs, and give students more access to technology.  Glisson noted that creative arts programs help to improve children’s self esteem and overall academic performance.

Glisson said when he was a student, he had the opportunity to work in an electrical and HVAC business.

“My boss was nice enough to hire me, but it wasn’t just a job; it was an incredible learning opportunity,” he said, adding it’s one from which many students could benefit.

“Hands-on learning is an effective process to develop knowledge and skill.  These hands-on skills can serve students well as a lifelong vocation, a hobby, or just when they need it.”


No matter how much has changed, he said, crafts and skills are still important, and there are real opportunities there for students.

“I help my first-grader study spelling words, and my son study Common Core math,” he said. “I see what kids are experiencing, and certainly what parents are experiencing.

I think I would bring a unique perspective to the board.”

Glisson is a graduate of Straughn High School, LBW Community College and Auburn University. He and his wife, Amy Burkett Glisson, have two children, Grant and Lauri.

He volunteers as a baseball and T-ball coach, and enjoys fishing and camping.

He is subject to the March Republican primary.