1. STANDARDIZE THE DESIGNS OF OUR SCHOOLS. I have studied VBCPS for years, and as an engineer, it is my nature to identify inefficiencies and inconsistencies. I know our schools are great and we can make them better. I will work to enact the below improvements while I am on the School Board.

  • Let’s move away from overpriced construction and use those savings to give our students even better educational opportunities. We do have some outdated schools in need of replacement and rehabilitation and I’ll get that moving while on the School Board. However, having architectural award-winning glass-enveloped buildings does not improve education.
  • We need a policy that standardizes the design of our schools. This minimizes design costs, reduces construction costs, and creates significant operation and maintenance efficiencies. Had this been policy decades ago, our building maintenance staff would not have to learn 86 different school building layouts and systems and our capital infrastructure would be in better shape.

2. RESTORE ORDER TO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. Students and teachers need a calm, stable, and organized classroom environment. Students learn better under such conditions and teachers will experience less stress. Our educators are overloaded with non-educational tasks. I will work to minimize changes to software, rubrics, repetitive training, and administrative tasking. Thus allowing them to focus on our students’ education.

We also must restore order to the educational environment. A student having a bad day may need some mental health reinforcement, but they may also need discipline. Whichever it is, it must be addressed on the spot and outside the classroom to allow the lessons to continue. VBCPS must maintain order in the schools through sound policy. The teachers should be excluded from any friction in those interactions so they can be free to provide the educational environment that all students need to be successful.

3. PREPARE OUR STUDENTS FOR LIFE AFTER SCHOOL. Test scores are declining. While I am no fan of SOLs, state-mandated testing, or teaching the tests, it is a state requirement for now. To counteract this, we must refocus on the core teachings while also preparing our students for life after high school, whether that be in college or straight into the workforce. We need to take a fresh look at how our grading systems and rubrics are preparing our students for life after school.

I’m a strong supporter of the trades as a solid future. Just fifteen years ago I was earning a living as a welder and blacksmith. Creating with my hands was rewarding. I will ensure we provide vocational education opportunities with real-world value from the moment of graduation. My perfect goal is to develop programs that graduate vocational students as licensed trade apprentices. For example, an electrician apprentice’s salary in Virginia is around $52,000. Four years of experience later they can become a Journeyman earning around $75,000 in Virginia. They would earn $150-200k during those four apprentice years with zero college loan debt on their shoulders. That is a solid career path. I will certainly also promote college prep pathways, but I don’t assume collegiate paths are for all students.


4. PARENTS RIGHT TO CHOOSE. Let’s solidify that parents are the primary educators of their children and VBCPS is a teammate. And we must acknowledge that teachers do the bulk of the work and thank them for it. Parents have the right to raise their children under the umbrella of ethics, morals, and cultural beliefs of their choosing. Thus, they have the right to be involved in, and completely informed about, their children’s education. I believe VBCPS does currently give parents adequate access to all relevant online educational records.

VBCPS should be driven to give students the knowledge, skills, and analytical processes to form their own, independent, solid, educated decisions and opinions. This will make them productive members of society, and the leaders of tomorrow.

Expanding on this, some things just don’t belong in school libraries and that’s common sense. Here’s a good start, if it can’t be read in a School Board meeting it should not be on our library shelves. I will stand up and defend every parent’s right to choose their child’s reading materials. And in this case, these are family decisions, not school decisions. Parents and children together can access these, and any other, books through private channels outside of the schools, or even from the public library system.

5. SUPPORT OUR TEACHERS. Our teachers are stressed. They are leaving. We need to fix that. From what I have heard it is less about pay alone than it is about the stress brought on by the burdensome non-lesson tasks, the administrative load, large classes, and the lack of order in the schools. Many teachers leave to take a position in a private school for less money solely for a calmer environment.

6. SAFETY IS PARAMOUT. And foremost, I’ll make our schools as safe as possible. Nobody should have to worry about the security of our students and staff.