Graduate of Holston High School
Machine Operators Certificate VHCC
Associate of Agriculture Technology Virginia Tech
Grew up on the family farm
Spent 16 years working for Columbus McKinnon as a machine operator, supervisor and manager.
16 years School Board
Wife of 27 years, Donna
Raising two nieces, Amber and KayLeigh Heath
It is going to be critical over the next few years to improve compensation to all of our staff. Unfortunately, the education system requires an employee to work almost their complete career before they reach the top of the salary scale. It is important that we do not continue to fall behind. Compensation is critical to hire and retain the best people to work with our most valuable asset (our children).
It has had a huge impact on the availability of programs being offered to our students, particularly at the high school level. If we do not continue to provide adequate funding to improve programs we will continue to lose students to private schools and home schooling. We need to provide a quality education that will challenge our students, prepare them for college, and equip them to compete in a global economy.
The lack of funding and the inability to give pay increases has certainly had a negative impact on the morale of all staff. We have a very loyal and committed staff in Washington County that cares very much about the success of our students and our schools. But they also continue to have bills and theirs own children to raise. We don't need for our employees to have to make a financial decision to go to work for another school system.
Many of our schools are aging but are structurally sound. It is critical that we put a good Capital Improvement Plan in place to plan improvements to our existing structures. It is more important that we have direction on funding our facility needs. I am not sure that any schools will need to be expanded or replaced in the next ten years.
We need to be able to continue to offer programs that interest every student. Our core classes are important to a students education. Sometimes it is a program outside the core classes that really interests a student. This program, whether it is band, art, welding, agriculture, horticulture, or culinary arts, may be the reason this student wants to attend school every day. It is not only important that we have well-educated graduates, but we also have well rounded students. We also need to promote good character and good moral values which makes good citizens. Today's students are tomorrow's leaders.