Another name has popped up as a potential candidate for the District 1 seat on the State Board of Education. Ernest Scarbrough of Daphne was one of four candidates interviewed last summer by Governor Bentley’s staff to fill an open seat. Now he is seriously considering running for this seat in the March 1, 2016 primary against Matt Brown, who was picked by the governor.

Brown announced this week that he plans to also run for the seat.

I talked to Scarbrough. “My family’s passion for education in Alabama goes back almost 100 years as my grandmother became a teacher in 1921,” he said. “So I suppose I come by my interest naturally.”

Scarbrough is a native of the area, his wife teaches in the Baldwin County school system and his three children went to public schools. He is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, studied at the University of London’s School of Economics and has an MBA from the University of Alabama. He is a member of the University of Alabama’s Business School Board of Visitors.

He is a former member of the Spanish Fort Education Enrichment Foundation and directed his Rotary Club’s effort to donate about 600 dictionaries a year to all third graders in Daphne and Spanish Fort.

He spent 15 years running a family business involved in educational software. Because of this, he has many education contacts throughout the seven counties of District 1 (Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Covington, Crenshaw, Conecuh and Butler).

Why is he interested in serving on the State Board? “I’ve worked with educators all over southwest Alabama, have been in countless schools. I know firsthand what is going on and what the needs and challenges are. At this very critical time, students and teachers of District 1 need experienced leadership. Someone with a longtime demonstrated passion for public education.”