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Board of Education District 3 candidates want to apply lessons from online learning during pandemic
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Two Republican candidates are vying for the Forsyth County Board of Education’s District 3 seat, which represents a wide swath of West Forsyth.

Incumbent Tom Cleveland is seeking his fifth term. He’s facing a challenge from Barry Herrin, a local lawyer. 

There is no Democrat challenger on the ballot, so the winner will be decided in the primary on June 9. 

Tom Cleveland, Republican

Tom Cleveland
Age: 61

Occupation: HR technology consultant

Previous/current political or civic involvement: Cleveland has served 16 years on the Forsyth County Board of Education and is also an active member of the Forsyth County Republican Party, Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council, Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT), Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Citizen Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) and several non-profit organizations.

Contact info:, 770-657-0810 or

Identify 2-3 causes in your platform

  • “Continue to make education engaging for every student;

  • “Focus on quality education to make sure every student is ready to be a part of the future workforce without spending any more than required to provide the best education in the nation;

  • “And continued focus on the social and emotional needs for every student.”

How do you feel Forsyth County Schools responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?

“We were better prepared as we had moved to an online learning capability years ago, as many jobs in the future workforce will require this discipline. This is not just a switch you turn on. We were better prepared than many districts.

“Was it perfect? No, but we have learned many lessons, will seek community input to understand what happened during this time and make positive changes to how our students learn. 

“I am very interested in hearing how we can better partner with those at home with the student to reach our goal of a well-rounded educated student that will be ready for everything life will throw their way. We are still on this journey as we figure out how to celebrate the graduates and prepare to start school next year, so get involved!”

Barry Herrin, Republican

Barry Herrin - photo by Brian Paglia
Age: 54

Occupation: Attorney

Previous/current political or civic involvement: Herrin has been a Scout leader for over 30 years, was a member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary for 27 years and has held a variety of positions in churches and charities throughout North Georgia. He currently serves as a member of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office’s volunteer program; chaplain of Boy Scout Troop 254 at Bethelview United Methodist Church; coordinator of Scouting ministries for the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church; and as the attorney coach of the Denmark High School mock trial team. Herrin has previously served as chair of the DeSana Middle School Local School Council and as a volunteer with the Watch DOGS program at Bethelview Elementary School.

Contact info: and

Identify 2-3 causes in your platform
  • “Increasing volunteerism in our schools. We need parents to be involved in all aspects of their children’s education. Far too many parents only come on campus in the carpool line, and that means a small number of parents do more than their fair share of supporting student programs;

  • “Improving intergovernmental cooperation on land use and development. Effective planning for neighborhood growth should include planning for new schools and making sure that we don’t overbuild the county. New schools should not have to have trailer classrooms within three years of opening.”

How do you feel Forsyth County Schools responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Very well. I think we should take the lessons learned from our experience with remote teaching and apply those in situations involving student discipline and students with chronic illnesses.”