Mark Raines of Cabot announced his candidacy for Position 5 on the Cabot School Board. The election will take place on Sept. 17.

"The Cabot School District is highly regarded for its academic success, which is evidenced by the number of people who move to our city for the sole reason of providing their children with a top-notch education," said Raines. "However that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for improvement."

Raines said his campaign will focus on four primary areas:

Preparing children for global success

Accountability in the classroom, and out

Growing with Cabot, Ward and Austin

Fiscal responsibility

"When children leave Cabot schools, they’ll be competing for educational opportunities and, ultimately, jobs in a global environment," Raines said. "We must provide the necessary resources to make certain our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in today’s global economy."

Raines praised the district’s almost full implementation of the Common Core Standards Initiative which defines the knowledge and skill sets students in all grades should possess once they complete their respective grades, focusing on relevant subject matter and technical skills that can be applied in the real world.

Arkansas A+ is an emerging public school initiative that infuses the arts into the teaching curriculum for every subject to help nurture creativity and critical thinking in all children.

"Arkansas A+ will help energize the content matter of Common Core by making learning interesting and fun for all children," said Raines. "We know that children do not learn in the same manner but instead of taking a defeatist attitude toward that realism, we can do something about it. Arkansas A+ helps each child to explore their own unique way of learning by incorporating the arts into every aspect of their education."

Accountability in the classroom and among district administration is also a key component of Raines’ campaign platform.

Raines said he also wants to make certain that the Cabot School District remains fiscally strong in order to keep up with the demands of a thriving school district.

Raines is a graduate of Jacksonville High School and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is the former news director at KTHV Channel 11 in Little Rock and is currently working in External Affairs for BHP Billiton Petroleum.

He and his wife, Caroline, have one child. Ryan will be a junior at Cabot High School next fall. The family attends First Baptist Church in Cabot where Raines and his wife each teach Sunday School.

Raines is a member of the ASU-Beebe Development Council and provides radio play-by-play for Cabot High School football and basketball games.