Leaders Emerging in School Board Race

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

June 6, 2005

The Charlottesville School Board continues to be on everyone's mind, especially with three open seats starting July 1. The public had a chance to share their opinions at tonight's City Council meeting.

About twenty-five people took advantage of the public hearing and spoke on behalf of their favorite candidates, rather than attacking other applicants.

Between 40 and 50 people filled the room from all ages. Although 13 people have applied for school board positions, three names dominated public comment. Over one-third of the speakers endorsed Karen Waters.

"Not only does she have a lot of love in her heart, but she cares about the community," said parent Mary Turner. "She comes into the community, she comes into our community, she comes into all of the communities in Charlottesville."

Peggie Van Yahres is the only sitting member who's term is up, seeking re-appointment. Seven people spoke tonight to support her.

"She's had a life long commitment to education and to children in this community," said parent Winx Lawrence. "She's an unbelievable hard worker and she's gained a great deal of wisdom this year, that I think that we need her leadership."

Speakers were also vocal about John Gaines, who spent 41 years working in schools.

"He knows the school system inside and out by being a teacher, and a principal, and working in the administration office," Charles Barbour spoke in support of John Gaines.

Both Reverend Alvin Edwards and Louis Bograd had several positive remarks on their behalf. Tonight's meeting was just public comment and no decisions have been made.

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