Henrico County VA
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School Board - Brookland District

















BEVERLY COCKE
1. Why should residents of your district elect you?
Because of my dedication, my leadership, and my experience. I am a lifelong resident of the Brookland district – a fifth-generation Glen Allen girl. I graduated from Hermitage High School and am the only candidate who has a child in the school system. Through the schools and my volunteer work, I know this district and its many communities. I have been a Girl Scout leader for 11 years, PTA/PTSA president three times, and I am currently chairman of the Henrico Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. I have been honored as Volunteer of the Year twice in two different Brookland district schools.

2. What will be your top focus if elected? My top focus, of course, is our children of Henrico County. We want to provide the best possible education to all children and do so in a cost effective manner.

3. What is the most critical issue: 1) facing your district? 2) facing the county as a whole? How do you propose to address these?
The most critical issue is closing the achievement gap. Today, 36 percent of our students are economically disadvantaged. We need to be smart with our money and put our resources into our highest need schools. Quality pre-kindergarten programs show a dramatic reduction in students repeating grades or needing special instruction. Also, we need to encourage more private-public partnerships with community businesses. In addition, afterschool programs can really help students in classroom achievements, as the students are more engaged and excited to come to school.

4. How will you involve citizens in matters of government? It is more important than ever that the School Board involves and listens to parents, teachers, students and the community. I will be accessible through the internet, phone or in person and promise a 24-hour response time when at all possible. I’m already talking with parents, students and teachers in our schools weekly and I would continue this practice to all schools that have Brookland district students attending.

5. What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend? This time of year, the answer is one word – football. My family attends “Friday Night Lights” at our daughter Katey’s high school (Hermitage). On Saturday, we usually watch college football from noon until we go to sleep. My husband and I have season tickets to UVA’s home games. We go up for game day and get to see our daughter, Lindsey, who’s a third year student.

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of?
I have a long standing record of community involvement. I am a 16-year member and a three-time local president of the PTA/PTSA. I am the Girl Scout Leader of Troop #271 of Glen Allen and the Laurel Service Unit Delegate to the G.S.C.C. of Virginia. Currently, I am the chairman of Henrico’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. I am a life-time member of the Henrico County Historical Society. Since 2007, I have served on the Henrico Christmas Mother Council. I am a member of Glen Allen Baptist Church.

7. Additional information: People recognize me for my nearly 20 year dedication to the Brookland district and now I’d like to put my leadership and “in-school” experience to good use as your School Board member. I am not a politician, but a parent and member of this community who cares about providing quality education in our schools. I do not see the School Board as a stepping stone to another elected office.

HERB DUNFORD
1. Why should residents of your district elect you?
As a lifelong resident of Henrico County, I feel it is my obligation to give back to a community that I truly love. I have had the honor to serve the citizens of the Brookland district in many roles. I have served on the Henrico County Cable Television Advisory Board for 11 years, am a member of the Henrico County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and was previously an appointed member of the Richmond Regional Planning Commission. The citizens of Henrico County have given me the great privilege of serving them by electing me to the Henricoplis Soil & Water Conservation Board in six elections for a total of 24 years of service in various positions, including chairperson for 17 of those years. These experiences have provided me with the unique perspective on how to enhance the dialogue between citizens and their government. Education has always been special to me. A solid educational system is absolutely fundamental to a vibrant and growing community, and I feel strongly that I can bring my years of experience working with budgets, plans and strategy to good use as a member of the Henrico County School board.

2. What will be your top focus if elected? A strong and successful school system is vital to the health of any community. My plan for Henrico County Schools starts with the A, B, C’s. A. Focus on rigorous academics to ensure that students are learning what they need to know to be productive and successful members of the community. B. Reduce administrative bureaucracy to reduce the budget and make our money work harder where it can do the most good. C. Involve the entire community in the education process: students, parents, teachers and citizens and businesses. The details of how I plan to accomplish this are listed on my website at http://www.herbdunford.
com.

3. What is the most critical issue: 1) facing your district? 2) facing the county as a whole? How do you propose to address these?
Making sure that we deliver a high-quality education product to all groups is a significant challenge. This includes eliminating disparity in school facilities and educational opportunities across the county. The education budget is a huge part of the total county budget. It is imperative that the school board members have a good working relationship with the Board of Supervisors to find solutions to issues in our schools.

4. How will you involve citizen in matters of government? I propose that we solicit more citizen and business leader input engaged in finding solutions to these issues. The schools do belong to all of the citizens of Henrico County. Working together we will find solutions.

5. What is your favorite way to spend the weekend? I work in retail, and the weekend is part of the workweek. When not at work, I like to spend time with my wife, family and friends. I typically work around the yard, have a cookout, attend church on Sunday, etc.

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of? Glen Allen Ruritan Club; Good Shepherd United Methodist Church; Henrico County Republican Committee; Phi Sigma Kappa VCU Alumni Association; James River Republican Woman’s Club

7. Additional Information: As a citizen of Henrico County, I believe it is my civic duty to take part in our government. As taxpayers, we are the owners of the “company” and we should make sure that our investment is being used wisely.

DARRELL JENKINS
1. Why should residents of your district elect you?
Experience - As a teacher, coach, and administrator for 30 years in Henrico County Public Schools, I have taught over 4,000 students and coached another 500. As Director of Student Activities, I managed major finances of the school, worked with the budgeting process and served on design teams for capital improvements.

2. What will be your top focus if elected? Keep the focus on students and teachers. We must make decisions based on what is best for kids. Research shows the most important factor in student success is the teacher. Good teaching takes care of many issues facing our division currently and in the years to come. We must continue to find ways to attract, support, and keep the best educators in Henrico.

3. What is the most critical issue: 1) facing your district? 2) facing the county as a whole? How do you propose to address these?
Providing a quality education for all students that prepare them for individual success. Standards of Learning and No Child Left Behind continue to be a focal point of our school division. While I support having standards and expectations for student achievement, I am opposed to a culture that focuses on a test that measures minimal competency. We must move past teaching to the tests and be sure we are teaching thoroughly and effectively using research-based strategies that provide the foundations needed to be successful at the next level. This will help address the achievement gap that exists across our division. I also believe the time has come for Virginia to adopt the Common Core Standards. Currently, 44 of 50 states have moved in this direction. If we do not want our students in Virginia and Henrico County to be left behind, we too need to join the effort.

4. How will you involve citizens in matters of government? “Accessibility is the key.” Parents are stakeholders in our school division and must have the opportunity to share ideas. As a parent of two HCPS graduates, I understand the importance of parental involvement, encourage it, and will work hard to foster an environment which supports it in all our schools. We also need to encourage and expand our business partnerships, especially in the area of mentor programs.

5. What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend?
A great weekend might include a golf outing with my son followed by an evening out with my wife - dinner and a movie. My wife and I also enjoy traveling and we try to get to SC for visits with our daughter as often as possible.

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of? I have been an active member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church for over 25 years. I currently serve as the church treasurer. This volunteer position handles all the finances of the church. In this day and time, fiscal responsibility is a must. From a professional standpoint, I was a member of various PTSA groups for 30 years, a Henrico Education Association member for 25 years and continue to be a member of several athletic administration associations on the national, state, and local level.

7. Additional information: My qualifications as an educational leader and mentor will gain immediate credibility with current educators in HCPS. I understand the challenges they face and will be an advocate for them as we address the needs of our students. As a parent, I understand the need to have someone listen. I believe an atmosphere of good communication among all stakeholders- students, teachers, and parents - is vital.
Community

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

Henricus Historical Park to host Publick Day Sept. 20

Henricus Historical Park will commemorate its anniversary during Publick Day, a signature annual event that celebrates the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the New World. In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, along with soldiers, tradesmen and farmers, ventured from Jamestown to create the Citie of Henricus. Leaders of Henricus developed the first English hospital, chartered the first college in North America, established tobacco as the first cash crop in Virginia, and created a place where Pocahontas lived and met John Rolfe.

Publick Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Extras sought for AMC’s ‘TURN’

Paid extras are being sought to appear in the AMC television series TURN: Washington's Spies, which will begin filming its second season in the Richmond area at the end of September and continue through February.

No experience is required, but producers say that extras must have flexible availability, reliable transportation and a positive attitude.

Arvold Casting is holding an open call on Sunday, Sept. 21 and is seeking men, women and children who are Caucasian, African American and Native American, with thin to average builds and who can realistically portray people living in Revolutionary War times. Long hair is a plus but not a must. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Calendar

The Henrico Theatre Company will present “Born Yesterday,” a classic comedy by Garson Kanin, Sept. 12-28 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd. Evening performances begin… Full text

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