Meet the candidates: Phenix City BOE Dist. 3 PL. 1

Meet the candidates: Phenix City BOE Dist. 3 PL. 1

Likitca Thomas-Ligon to listen with ears, heart

Likitca Thomas-Ligon is seeking the District 3, Place 1 seat of the Phenix City Board of Education. She is from Phenix City, attended Ridgecrest, and graduated from Central High School in 1998. She graduated from Tuskegee University and earned her Master’s degree from Kalpan University. 

Ligon decided to run for the board of education because she feels like she is a good fit. 

“I’ve been advocating for kids. I’ve always worked behind the scenes to make sure we have activities and programs to help motivate our children. I work well with people,” she said. 

Ligon believes in serving with like-minded people, but also sees the value of differing opinions so they can all come together for the greater good, which are the children, she said. 

Ligon said communication is what she would like to see improved if she’s elected to the board. 

“There are a lot of people who are not in the know. I would like to be more transparent,” she said. “We put things out there, but some people are in a place where they don’t express that they don’t understand. I want to make it easier for everyone to know what’s going on. We have to educate each other. They’re currently transparent, but sometimes you need extra. I also want to be accessible and want people to know they can ask questions and talk to me.”

Ligon said she is a great candidate for office because she will use her voice to be an advocate for quality education programs that engage and grow all students. 

“I will vow to always listen with not only my ears but my heart,” she added.

Ligon is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. –a Greek Letter Organization, which was founded on January 13, 1913 on the campus of Howard University to promote academic excellence and provide assistance to those in need. “We are a group of college educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service,” she said. 

Ligon is married to husband Leon. They have three children, MyKala, Christian, and Jayen. She also has two bonus babies, she said. 

Katrina Collier-Long sees value in education

Katrina Collier-Long is seeking the District 3, Place 1 seat of the Phenix City Board of Education. Long is a life-long resident of Phenix City. She grew up off Seale Road, attended Meadowlane Elementary, and graduated from Central High in 1995. She worked her way through college as a secretary at Ridgecrest Elementary and eventually became a middle school special education teacher and an assistant principal. She now works as the principal at Reese Road Elementary School in Columbus. 

She credits her mother with instilling in her the value of education and hard work. 

“My mom was a single mom, but I never knew we were lacking from her work ethic,” she said. “She instilled that into me. She did a lot in the community so other children could also have good experiences.” 

Long was asked in January to consider running for the school board but didn’t think much about it, although she voted for an elected school board. By the summer, she knew she had to step up since it looked like there weren’t many candidates. 

“I was thinking as an educator, not a politician, so I jumped in,” Long said. “I’ve been in education in every area from support, to teacher to administrator. I can look at things from different vantage points. [The school board] has done a fabulous job. I can’t complain.”

But there are some things she would like accomplished. While there is technology that was seamlessly rolled out during the pandemic, Long said she wants to see equality across the district. 

“The students with the most needs need the most attention,” she said. “We need to figure out how to reach the least of these. Some of their parents may not have had a good experience with school themselves. How do we bring them into the fold? We have to break the generational poverty cycle and mind set. I’m a living witness that it was a key for me.”

She said from the outside, there’s not a lot of work to do. She wants to make sure students are at the forefront and teachers and administratiors are taken care of. She also loves the community support that the school system receives. 

“We have a lot of community support. We need to get behind our schools and bring all the stakeholders to the table. Not just for sports, but for academics as well,” she added.  

If she is elected, Long said she will observe, research, and be transparent with the community. 

Long is married to husband Nathaniel. They have two children, Zach and Lauren.