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

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

Henrico native to appear on Travel Channel show


A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”

The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.

The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.

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Virginia Blood Services will hold a blood drive from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Village Shopping Center, Three Chopt Road and Patterson Avenue. All walk-ins are welcome and donors… Full text

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