October 12, 2008

School Board Race

I am the best candidate for the Kempsville District School Board seat because over the past eight years as a School Board member I have been committed to providing and supporting a safe learning environment, an academically rigorous and relevant learning curriculum, opportunities for success beyond the standard program of study and high expectations for all students, teachers, and staff members.

As a member of the governance team, which includes all board members and the superintendent, I will continue to focus on student learning by supporting the mission, vision and goals of the Virginia Beach City school district which supports a twenty first century core curriculum.

I will continue to make student-centered decisions supported by data and give support to create a supportive workplace for staff. I believe I am the best candidate because I will continue to be fiscally responsible, accountable for student success and accessible to stakeholders in the community, while monitoring the district's academic and financial performance.

I am the best candidate because my goal continues to be one that ensures a world class school system and global education for all students while maintaining accreditation by state standards. I am the best candidate in my race for the Virginia Beach School Board because I have a record of serving and caring for education; not just for the safety, security, health and welfare of our students, but for the people who teach in our schools, the students who learn in them, and the communities that support them.

My past service includes the president and vice president of PTA, the chairman of technology for the Virginia Beach Council of PTAs, a parent volunteer for the National Education Association and the Virginia Beach Learning Lab. One must know what it is to serve before they lead.

I am the best candidate in my race, because through service, I gained the trust and confidence of my peers which lead to my selection to a variety of committee memberships and election to board or committee chairmanships.

I have gained a wealth of knowledge through my experience which allows me to evaluate complex situations and work together with my peers and the school administration to create fair and equitable outcomes for the students, teachers, and the entire community. I strive to bring the voice of reason to the educational processes and to the board.

Having grown up in Virginia Beach, I am devoted to this community, which has given so much to me. I'm the only candidate or member of our school board to have attended Virginia Beach schools, giving me a unique perspective on what our students need and the climate in which they are growing up.

I've recently entered the most challenging and rewarding part of my career, having begun teaching at Norview High School. Before teaching I served the people of Virginia Beach in the Commissioner of the Revenue office and as a legislative assistant to Delegate Bobby Mathieson. My work experiences have given me an opportunity to help solve problems facing our great city. I've worked on issues ranging from cracking down on Internet predators and gangs, funding education and fighting for teacher raises, and assisting constituents in cutting through government bureaucracy.

Many members of our community share my belief that I am the best School Board candidate to represent Rose Hall. I have been endorsed by Virginia Beach's teachers, fire fighters, and police, School Board members Ed Fissinger and Pat Edmondson, Delegates Joe Bouchard, Bobby Mathieson, and Sal Iaquinto, Senator Ralph Northam, and Commissioner of the Revenue Phil Kellam.

I believe the school system is the cornerstone of a community. Any successful and prosperous city starts with successful schools. Education is important for the future of our children and their success, but it's vitally important for the success of our entire community.

All of my experiences throughout the city have highlighted the role that our school system holds and its leadership must be in the hands of people who understand our community and have the expertise to administer a $720 million operating budget and the complicated funding streams that come with it.

I believe that my professional experience combined with my broad based work in the community and firsthand experience with our schools as a member of the school board, the education foundation and as a parent of two VBCPS students makes me qualified to serve our city on the School Board.

Sandra Smith-Jones

Age 47

Years in Virginia Beach 20

Education Regent University, master's degree in educational leadership; Hampton University, bachelor's; Wyandanch High School, New York. Currently pursuing doctorate in educational leadership/ higher education at Nova Southeastern University

Family Three adult children (graduates of Beach public schools); one granddaughter

Occupation Assistant professor (adjunct) , Hampton University College of Virginia Beach

Civic involvement Spartan Prep Mentor, Youth Entertainment Studios Board of Directors, Southampton Roads Alumni Association, Child Abuse Celebrity volunteer, PTA, Wyandanch High School Alumni executive board of directors: vice president of education Michael W. Stewart

Age 56

Years in Virginia Beach Norfolk native; lived in Beach for 22 years

Education I am a graduate of Norfolk City Public Schools. After graduation, I attended Norfolk State University. I continue to study at Tidewater Community College in the business field.

Occupation As an electronics maintenance officer supervisor with the Department of Defense, I continue training in leadership, communications, and security.

Family I am a husband and father.

Civic involvement Current School Board member; Minority Business Council, The Federal Relations Network, WHRO HERTA Education Advisory Committee, Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice. Brent Mckenzie

Age 31

Years in Virginia Beach 25

Education Old Dominion University, bachelor's degree in political science; education license from ODU

Family I moved back to my childhood home in 2001 to take care of my mother when my father passed. Mother, Mary; sister, Heather; niece and nephew who attend public schools in Virginia Beach.

Occupation Teacher, Norview High School, Norfolk

Civic involvement March of Dimes, American Red Cross, Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach Safe Kids Day, Relay for Life American Cancer Society, Little League baseball coach, Virginia Beach Leadership Institute, University of Virginia Sorensen program for leadership, Virginia Beach Education Foundation, and Green Run Home Owner's Association. William J. Brunke IV

Age 41

Years in Virginia Beach 16

Education Bachelor's degree, Dominican College of Blauvelt, Orangeburg, N.Y.

Family Wife, Susan ; two daughters, Meaghan, 14, attends OLHS, Taylor, 11, attends PAMS

Occupation Certified public accountant, owner of Public Accounting Firm, William J. Brunke, CPA, Virginia Beach

Civic involvement Virginia Beach Education Foundation (2006 - present); Virginia Beach Community Services Board (1996 - 2005); Task force to develop charter for City Auditor (2007); Beaches and Waterways (2000 - 2002); Pavilion Expansion Committee (2000 - completion); Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce (2001 - 2003) board member; youth softball coach (1999 - present) Kempsville Rose Hall Princess Anne

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