Meet 20 Applicants Vying to Become PWCS Interim School Board Chairman

| March 21, 2018 | 0 Comments | Education

Kelly Leadership Administrative Building for Prince William County Schools.

Prince William County School Board members will have a difficult decision as twenty Prince William County residents are applying for the position of interim School Board Chairman At-Large for Prince William County Schools.

Applicants are Lucy Beauchamp (Manassas), Kristi Black (Bristow), Shawn Brann (Bristow), Justin Caron (Woodbridge), Langston Carter (Woodbridge), Doreen Dauer (Woodbridge), Victor Gaither (Haymarket), John Gray (Lake Ridge), John Kribbs (Woodbridge), Barbara Larrimore (Woodbridge), Barbur Lateef (Manassas), Kevin Raymond (Woodbridge), Donald Richardson (Haymarket), Heather Steele (Woodbridge), London Steverson (Manassas), Richard Wellman, Jr. (Bristow), Lori Williams (Woodbridge), Wendy Wise (Woodbridge), and Lisa Zargarpur (Manassas).

Applicants tend to be well-qualified in their professional lives and community involvement. Here is a little information about each candidate provided by Prince William County Schools as self-reported by the applicants.

Lucy Beauchamp served as Chairman at Large of the Prince William County School Board from 1996 through 2007. Before that, she served as Chairman from 1994-1996, Vice Chairman from 1992-1994 and member since 1992. She worked for the Belmont Bay Science Center Foundation from 2007-2012.

“Our school division will forever hold a special place in my heart. My lifetime passions are my family and education as exhibited in my sixteen years on the School Board, fourteen as Chairman.”

Kristi Black of Bristow is a Prince William County mom, is the Owner/Decorator of Effie Claire Bake Shop. She served as T.Clay Elementary School PTO Treasurer from 2015-16. “I am personally invested in the future of our school district as I will continue to have a student in this school district for the next ten years.”

Shawn Brann of Bristow served as Acting-Brentsville Representative on the Prince William County School Board, during the 2016-2017 school year. He was Brentsville Representative to the Safe Schools Advisory Committee in 2015-16, and chair in 2016. He served on several school board community committees. Brann is the Sr. Technical Writer for General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Chantilly. He was an English teacher at Woodbridge Sr. High School from 1999-2006.

“Working with my fellow board members in a bipartisan manner to secure a larger 13th high school and larger high schools in the future CIP was an accomplishment.  In addition, working together for step and cost-of-living raises for our teachers and other staff members was an accomplishment as well.  None of these efforts could have been possible without individuals willing to work together,” Brann told Bristow Beat in a correspondence.

Langston Carter is a Prince William student from Woodbridge. He is the Chief Organizer/Founder of the Youth Initiative for National Action, Woodbridge; an intern with the Democratic Party Woodbridge Chapter; served as an intern for Hala Ayala for Delegate, and volunteered with Northam’s campaign and President Obama’s reelection campaign. He is the Media Director/Board member of the Ridgewood Barracudas Swim Team.

“My family has a long history of fighting for public schools across Virginia, and I intend to continue working towards improvement. I think it is long past time for students to have a voice in the workings of their school system, and as a student, I can bring that representation.”

Justin Carter is Vice President of Membership Services at Metrostudy, which services the information, media and marketing needs of the construction industry.

“I firmly believe I would bring an unbiased, collaborative, and inclusive sense of focus to the role of Interim School Board Chair of the Prince William County School Board….[I would bring my] expertise including education, nonprofit associations, and a variety of for profit industries.”

Doreen Dauer served as the Supervisor of Student Assistance and Prevention Programs in Prince William County Schools from 2005-2017. She coordinated and evaluated the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program at 69 schools over 12 years. She is a certified as a Trauma and Loss School Specialist and developed bullying/sexual harassment programs at the secondary level.

“My practical understanding and experience with extremely important current issues like violence and substance abuse prevention, truancy, special education eligibility, would lend valuable insight to the board…My 37 years of service to PWCS allows me personal understanding and offers an important historical perspective of our schools.”

Victor Gaither is a business and technical professional with leadership, management and experience in communications service provider organizations. He managed a $4.5 billion annual infrastructure portfolio with the goal of providing broadband connectivity to underserved rural areas.

“I believe that I am uniquely qualified based on my 38 years business track record experience with leadership, program management, governance, budget, planning, performance management, procurement including contracts and vendor management.”

John Gray has been a certified public accountant since and staff auditor since 1980. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a Vietnam Veteran. He is currently the sole citizen appointee to the Joint Board of County Supervisors and School Board Audit Committee.

“The past two years have been a traumatic time period for the School Division and this Board… I believe what is needed right now is an independent, third-party Interim Chair who will act immediately to reconcile and mollify the School members back from the chaos of the last to years and steer the Board back to its primary mission: to serve our 90,000 students, our 12,000 employees and the citizens of Prince William County.”

John Kribbs is a retired Officer of the U.S. Army who works for as a civilian for the Army Cyber Command who has chaired boards within the intelligence community. As an Army Officer he supervised counterintelligence and worked as a senior interrogator. He has mentored young soldiers, coached basketball is current chair of the Parental Advisory Council at Porter Traditional School.

“I have an innate belief that we all should take responsibility for our children’s education. I have looked at what Prince William County spends per child and what other countries sped and realize how well this school system is doing. I believe we can do better and will if we all work together.”

Barbur Lateef, M.D. is a Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, and owner of Advanced Ophthalmology, Inc. in Woodbridge. Barbur is a University Board of Visitors Member, serving on various committees; a UVA NOVA Task Force member; and Board of Directors of the SPARK Foundation. He is a PTO member at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

“My children have participated in many of our local sports leagues. I have supported each one of them in differing capacities, including sponsorship and volunteering as a fan!”

Barbara Larrimore of Lake Ridge is the founder of “More Recess for Virginians” an educational advocacy group that brought legislative change to Virginia’s education policy. She partnered with members of both political parties to pass legislation in the Virginia General Assembly to allow for more recess time in Commonwealth public schools. Larrimore is the President of the Lake Ridge Elementary School PTO; Vice President of the Lake Ridge Moms Club; and has a psychology degree.

“Advocacy isn’t enough. Real Change requires working together, with an open mind, to compromise on realistic solutions to Prince William County’s unique educational challenges.

Sarah Pitkin has a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology. From 1999-2006 she was an abilities consultation and therapist. Previously, she was a teacher in the Function Life Experiences Program for K-3 students for Fairfax Public Schools. She is an owner/operator of Pitkin’s Home Center hardware stores in Dale City, a family business.

“I have seen the challenges faced by the principals and staff. In these rapidly changing times, the public looks towards the School Board to understand the current climate and seek to see that the School Board acts responsibility and proactively for the benefit of our children.”

Kevin Raymond of Woodbridge is a retired Federal Housing Financial Agent, and once a senior consultant to the Department of Justice in litigation. He volunteers on several local community committees include the PWCS School Infrastructure Committee.

“Right now, I see the key issues before the School Board are School Safety, Funding, Student Academic Performance and positive use of our diverse student population. While I would not assume to make up my agenda, I would like to work with these types of issues as the elected School Board Members would decide to address.”

Don Richardson is the former Gainesville member of the Prince William School Board serving from 2001 to 2011. As a board member, he dealt with the aftermath of 911 and near shooting incident at a local school. Richardson pushed for the Safe Schools Advisory Council and put in place accountability measures for PWCS. He has 38 years of experience as a software engineer.

“While the Board I serve on had to deal with some difficult issues …We succeeded because we treated each other with respect, kept partisan talk out of the conversation, and had a relationship of trust and open communication with the Superintendent and staff.”

Heather Steele is an attorney working as a Litigation Partner at Compton & Duling. She has served on the SPARK Board, and a board member of Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William, an organization that works to increase literacy, preschool resources, and kindergarten readiness.

“I care deeply about the success of Prince William County Schools…As a litigation attorney, I have spent many years involved in helping parties work out conflicts, which helps me to be able to see all sides of an issue and bring a sense of unity even in disagreements.”

Judge London Steverson of Manassas severed as an administrative law judge from 1990-2009. He was a U.S. Officer in the Coast Guard and law specialist from 1968-1988. Steverson currently authors and military history books. He has a Bachelors of Science in Engineering. Steverson received cultural diplomacy awards from a U.S. Ambassador to Hungry.

“I also want to see Prince William County School continue to offer high academic standards, transparency, and accountability…I believe my life experiences and accumulated wisdom can be a valuable asset to this school board for the interim period.

Richard Wellman, Jr. is retired from the U.S. Army Officer and IT professional with experience in project management, information systems security, and team leadership. He managed enterprise communication networks spanning from South Korea to the Continental U.S. He taught college students at the Military Arts and Science Academy at California Polytechnic State University.

“I am deeply concerned that PWCS has an interim School Board Chairman that can be a good steward of the county’s resources, ensuring that the School Board can make a final decision free of political turmoil as much as possible. Throughout my career I’ve received numerous accolades for leading teams and accomplishing complex goals.”

Lori Williams of is an auditor in the areas of curriculum management, instruction and training services, and has worked as a forensic accountant. (Not to be confused with Loree Williams, Woodbridge School Board member.)

“In my current employment…I’m responsible for performing audits of tax dollars spent on training and education employees….I’m also responsible for performing program reviews to ensure that my employer is receiving measurable benefits from the funds that are spent to train its employees. I believe this type of job experience would be of benefit to Prince William County Public Schools.”

Wendy Wise is the Director of Journals and Content Marketing for ACS Publications. Wise started the Kilby Elementary School PTA last year and raised over $20,000 in funds for educational materials and activities this year.

“We started the (Kilby) PTA with only 3 members…and over this past year have registered 60 school parents as current members. We have raised over $40,000 towards educational supplies, books, activities, and have provided a sense of community for families with children attending the school.”

Lisa Zargarpur is a music specialist and choral director for Fairfax Public School Teacher, who teaches at Keene Mill Elementary School. She graduated from Osbourn Park and did her student teaching within Prince William. She has a Master of Arts and a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Music.

“Educating your children is my passion. As a teacher, I know what policy set by school boards feel like. I know how it can lighten our teaching burden or require more of me and my colleagues. I understand how best educational practices and the policies set by governing bodies do not always mix….Finding the best ways for policy to meet practice is my passion.

Information on Process

Only school board members can vote. Residents can send their input to their representatives.

According to Prince William County Schools, Public Hearing on Prince William County School Board’s interim appointment will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in the School Board meeting room at the Kelly Leadership Center.

Applicants for the position are also invited to speak for up to five minutes. The School Board plans to vote on the interim appointment on April 18, 2018.

The interim person will serve until after the special election to be held in November.

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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