School Board - Brookland District
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.
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.
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.
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.
Henrico's Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of only 20 gardens in North America nominated for USA Today’s “10Best Reader’s Choice” contest for Best Public Garden.
The 20 public gardens nominated are:
• Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
• Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York
• Buthcart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.
• Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga. > Read more.
Photo by Patty Kruszewski/Henrico Citizen 02/24/2014
The Fifth Annual Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) Award Banquet, held Feb. 6 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, honored HPAL’s top volunteers and employees, including Morgan Lewis, Youth of the Year; Dale Alexander, Volunteer of the Year; Lowell Thomas, Employee of the Year, and Victor Williams, Board Member of the Year. Also honored for their support were Jim and Christi Dowd of Richmond BMW and Josh Davis of Henrico County Public Schools Pupil Transportation.
Keynote speaker for the banquet was Tim Hightower, a University of Richmond alumnus and former NFL running back. Hightower was introduced by Billy McMullen, former NFL player and a Henrico PAL board member. > Read more.
The Pocahontas Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists, based in western Henrico, last year donated more than $1.3 million worth of manufacturers coupons to U.S. military personnel overseas. Throughout 2013, members and friends of the chapter clipped 952,349 manufacturers’ coupons valued at $1,350,630, which Program Chairman Carole Featherston shipped to U.S. military bases abroad. Military personnel can use the coupons when shopping in base stores.
The National Society Daughters of American Colonists is a women’s genealogical and patriotic society whose members are descended from a man or woman who rendered civil or military service in any of the American colonies prior to July 4, 1776. > Read more.
Abstract paintings of Inge Strack (pictured) are on display through March 9 at the Gumenick Family Gallery at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Strack, a Chestefield painter of German origin, often paints in bold colors with a deep sense of emotion, focusing on brushstrokes, texture and form to find a balance. Strack’s painting is routed in the European tradition of expressionism but has found its own, unique language in following the American dream.
“I am not attempting to abstract the physical world," she said. "I draw my subject matter from inside of myself hoping to create a constant conversation between the viewer and the painting, especially since abstracts do not seem to answer but ask.” > Read more.
Do you play pickleball? Learn more about this oddly-named but fun-to-play sport tomorrow! Though it’s still pretty chilly outside, you can get a jump start on spring at the Richmond Home and Garden Show or at a workshop on raised bed gardening at Lavender Fields Herb Farm. For all our top picks this weekend in Henrico, click here! > Read more.
Varina native and Super Bowl champion Michael Robinson will appear on an episode of CBS’s “The Young and the Restless” that will air March 13 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Robinson, a fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, taped his appearance on the show last week. He was invited to appear on the series after producers of the show learned from an interview that he was a longtime fan. > Read more.
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