October 12, 2008

School Board Race School Board Race

I have the education as a social worker and personally have experienced some the situations that parents have to deal with when it comes to their children and the school system. I know the community as a whole, which has been instrumental in allowing me to establish an open dialogue across racial barriers. My experience of eight years serving on the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Board of Commissioners has given me an understanding of policies and procedures, and I have the ability to get things done. I am the best candidate for the Nansemond Borough because of my common-sense approach, problem-solving skills, leadership skills, and analytical and decision-making abilities. Dealing with situations concerning children or staff, I know what to look for psychologically and how to deal with human behavior.

I have served in the Virginia school system (for) 31 years as a teacher and guidance counselor. I am coordinator and director of Hope Counseling Center; this process gives opportunity to continue tutoring and counseling individual/group interventions. My experience continues to expand throughout the community.

The reason I would make the best candidate for the Suffolk School Board is my leadership as a senior pastor, my ability to direct, inspire, motivate and implement vision and change to a structured organization. To be able to make strong decisions based on education principles, funding, salaries and instruction in the hope that the Suffolk School system will meet the challenge of the 21st century. I am a proven leader, serving as vice chair on the School Board and as a college academic dean. I have 40 years of experience as a public school and college teacher. My college degrees are in education. My accomplishments on the school board are highlighted by system-wide academic improvement with all schools fully accredited. In my academic career and service on the School Board, I have developed strong working relationships with area business/industry, area school boards, city officials and colleges. My background is almost exclusively working with at-risk children in the area of literacy. This is the main area that is keeping many Suffolk schools from making AYP (adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act). I feel I am the best candidate for the School Board, not because I have served on the board for eight years, received Virginia School Board Academy's Award of distinction four times, served on Suffolk Public School's (SPS) Career and Technical Advisory, Special Education Advisory or Governor's School committees, but because I want to continue what I started eight years ago ... running for the children. For 30 years, I proudly worked in Suffolk Public Schools, teaching history and government at John Yeates High and Nansemond River High. During those years I accepted as my mission the job of an effective, quality educator, leader and role model. For 18 years, I was a history and social studies department chair and supervised student teachers from various colleges and universities. I facilitated curriculum development and staff development. I was a chairperson for High Schools That Work and a member of the School Improvement Committee. I was a member of the Principal's Advisory group, a member of the After School Mentor Program and served on many textbook adoption committees. I was nominated by my students to Who's Who Among American High School Teachers, and I was Suffolk's 2000 Teacher of the Year. Through those years, I worked closely with students, parents, administrators and community leaders. My involvement in the day-to-day activities of our educational system has given me the "on the job training" necessary to represent the Whaleyville Borough on the Suffolk School Board.

Thelma V. Hinton

Age 51

Years in Suffolk 26

Education Norfolk State University, 1998, bachelor's degree in social work; STOP Organization Vocational School of Nursing, 1989; John F. Kennedy High School

Occupation Caretaker for disabled son

Family Three children, Terry, Herbert and Angel

Civic involvement Vice chairperson for the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; member of the East Suffolk Federated Civic League; organizer for the National Night Out Against Crime; served as Resident Council president, Hoffler Apartments, since 1990. Marion H. Matthews

Age 76

Years in Suffolk 15

E ducation Norfolk State University, bachelor's degree; Hampton University, master's degree; Virginia University of Lynchburg, doctorate

Family Widow; two sons, Vincent and Colonius Rawlings

Occupation Retired guidance counselor and teacher; educational counselor and counselor court service provider

Civic involvement Director and coordinator, Hope Counseling Center; matron, Order of Eastern Star; board member, Child Development Educational Center; president, Suffolk Substance Abuse and Youth Council Robert Barnes II

Age 55

Family Wife, Gloria ; three children, Sheldon, Alto-vise, Nathaniel

Education Richmond Seminary Master of Divinity (1977); United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, Doctor of Ministry (2003)

Occupation Senior pastor, Canaan Baptist Church; family counselor, adjunct professor, Virginia University of Lynchburg; former Portsmouth police chaplain

Civic involvement Member of Suffolk Education Foundation; Board chairman of Tidewater Ministerial Relief Effort; raised more than $15,000 for Suffolk tornado victims; member of Suffolk Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance James E. Perkinson Jr.

Age 63

Years in Suffolk 35+

Education East Carolina University, bachelor's degree; Old Dominion University, master's in education

Family Wife, Betty ; two daughters, Rebecca and Christina; son, James

Occupation Academic dean for Business, Public Services and Technologies, Tidewater Community College, Chesapeake campus

Civic involvement Member, deacon and elder at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church; former member and officer and zone governor, Driver Ruritan Club; former Little League softball coach; former member and officer, Deerfield Civic League Diane B. Foster

A ge 49

Years in Suffolk 22

E ducation Radford University, bachelor's degree in sociology; Norfolk State University, endorsement in early childhood education; University of Virginia, master's in education in literacy

Family Husband, Jeff; three sons, Ryan, Joshua and Jake

Occupation Early literacy/career development specialist for STOP Organization Head Start Program in Norfolk.

Civic involvement Advisory board of First Book Hampton Roads; former PTA board member for three Suffolk schools; steering committee for Ready to Read/Chesapeake Public Schools Sharon R . Harris

Age 66

Years in Suffolk 10

Education Rutgers University, bachelor's degree in English and sociology

Family Husband, Harold ; son, Harold Jr.; daughter, Eileen

Occupation Retired Suffolk business owner ; retired Army Reserves

Civic involvement School Board member since 2000; past president of Suffolk Kiwanis Club; co-facilitator of Suffolk Youth International Association; 4-H adult leader; 4-H Congress counselor; 4-H camp counselor; member of Nansemond River Pilot Club Phyllis C. Byrum

Age 57

Years in Suffolk 54; lives in Whaleyville Borough

Education Forest Glen High , 1969; Barton College, bachelor's degree , 1973; Robert Taft Institute of Government at Old Dominion University; James Madison Institute of Government

Family Husband, Randy Byrum, a teacher in Gates County Public Schools

Occupation retired Suffolk Public School teacher

Civic involvement Suffolk Clean City Commission, represents the Whaleyville Borough; Whaleyville Village Initiatives steering committee; Whaleyville Ruritan Club; Whaleyville Historical Society Nansemond Sleepy Hole Whaleyville

(c) 2008 Virginian - Pilot. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.