Chris Calfee for Radford School Board
Married to Becki Calfee, we have 2 wonderful Children both in Radford City Schools. I had attended RCPS. I have been a business person in the NRV and Radford all of my adult life. Most of that time as a Bank Manager and financial service provider. I have over 20 years experience dealing with multi million dollar budget planning. I am additionally experienced with personnel management and project planning.
Our children are the reason I am running for a seat on the Radford School Board. I believe that a balance must be held in all aspects of life. I am absolutely confident with my business experience and genuine desire to put the best interest of the young people, faculty, and staff, of Radford City Schools ahead of any other matters we can and will be successful. Couple that with complete, open, and honest clear communication and I can be a valued member of the School Board. Then together as a Board we can help to provide the best support to the Superintendent possible.
Maintaining and extending direct, open, and transparent communication with the Students, Faculty, Staff, and Citizens would be the greatest challenge I see currently facing the School Board. In these uncertain times and ever changing issues, being able to confidently communicate and address concerns with multiple media sources or venues is essential to delivering a clear and open message. I have many years experience using online and web based media to attend and direct meetings as well as training sessions. I would consider it an honor to use those years of experience to deliver messages to Radford City as a School Board Member. By including digital media to the meetings it opens the opportunity to anyone to attend even if they are not able to be in person. It can also provide a sense of comfort to those who may not feel encouraged to ask a question in person. It would also provide a source of reputational stability between the School Board and all Citizens of Radford..
Understanding of course that the Superintendent creates the budget and the School Board then votes to approve the proposed budget. I feel continuing a working relationship that I have with the current Superintendent and any other that may be placed at a later date would be essential. Additionally understanding that the approved budget is then passed to the City Council for allocation needs, I would utilize my business experience to address the Council as, and if requested to clarify any questions that may arise. Ultimately my business and teamwork experience will be very useful in creating strong working relationships between City Council and School Board to achieve our common goal of providing the most funding possible to fulfil the approved budget needs.
All students have the right to a safe, and productive learning environment. By being active in School events, activities, and additionally as a parent of students listening to student needs, and concerns will be critical to ensure all students are treated equitably. I also believe that having access for any student, faculty, or staff to contact me directly with any concerns will be crucial The understanding that confidentiality is a cornerstone of my work experience can also help them speak freely with regard to sensitive issues. Then I would openly work with the entire School Board and legal council if needed to resolve issues in scenario based presentations to maintain privacy as appropriate or as requested. Once a decision is made then presenting that to the public opening and directly in a proactive timely fashion would be my approach.
I have over 20 years experience working with incredibly diverse teams of people with a variant of skills and talents in order to achieve goals as well as maintain multi million dollar budgets. I have direct experience not only maintaining those budgets, but in establishing, and presenting them as well. I have also been an advocate for direct reports and others in various areas of personal and professional development. I have experience as a life and career coach so my ability to asses peoples needs and then help them to present that to a group is second nature to me. I have spent a majority of my career working with teams of people with different back grounds and multiple levels of authority. As a business person, a Husband, and a Father to two wonderful Bobcats working as a team to accomplish a common goal is second nature to me.
Justin Mosby and his wife, Kirsten, have been long time residents of Radford City. Justin grew up in the New River Valley attending the Riner schools and graduating from Christiansburg High School in 1996. They graduated from Radford University and have dedicated their professional lives to assisting school and college aged students successfully navigate the challenges of the public school system and higher education.
In 2003 Justin began his career at Virginia Tech as a counselor for Upward Bound. As a counselor he traveled throughout southwest Virginia working with first generation and / or low income high school students to recognize barriers and develop individual plans to help the students build the confidence and academic skills needed to pursue high education or some form of post-secondary education. After four years working with the Upward Bound program, Justin moved into fundraising at Virginia Tech. He currently works for the Guideposts Foundation.
I am running for a seat on Radford City school board because I have long been devoted to helping young people find their niche and build their own capacity to succeed. I want to equipped future generations of educators, leaders, youth, and their FAMILIES with the education, life skills, and resources they need to make impactful contributions to their local community and globally in the rapidly evolving world. In this role, I feel I can continue to be a positive influence in continuing those efforts.
The greatest challenge I see is accessing the right amount of funding to build state of the art facilities, recruit, retain, and recognize our talented teachers and create an environment that provides a wide range of programs that prepares young people for all areas of life beyond graduation. I will be a positive voice in the room, endlessly advocating for the needs of our young people and supporting our teacher’s innovative ideas and well-being.
I will continuously look for novel ways to secure funding from grants and corporate partnerships that create and support programs that focus on innovative learning, life skills and professional development. It will also be important to continue a close and collaborative relationship with Radford City government officials, so they understand the impact they have in their own roles to adequately fund the educational attainment of community’s future leaders and educators. Making the most of our funds and investing them where they are most needed is vital. We must be able to navigate uncharted territories; we must pivot and not pause.
Treating students equitably is something I believe is modeled throughout the system by the actions of not just our administrators but also the students. I will consistently ask questions and take action to ensure that our schools provide the necessary resources needed not only for our high achieving students to be supported, but also for our struggling or less fortunate students to rise up and given the same opportunities, as well.
I have a Master’s in Counselor Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. I have worked in the past as a counselor for the Upward Bound program at Virginia Tech, working as a counselor in 6 schools throughout southwest Virginia. I have also been a fundraiser in higher education and other non-profits for 13 years. My wife is a School Counselor and I am well informed about the struggles our young people face in our schools and their own personal lives.
Jody Ray for School Board
With thirteen years of public education experience, I have taught Earth Science, Agriculture, Ecology, and various Natural Resources Classes. I have also sponsored many other clubs, initiatives, and student activities.
After teaching, I served as Assistant Principal at Nelson Middle School in Nelson County, VA. After that, I served as High School Principal, in Galax, VA. During this time, I led many projects to include innovative scheduling, student mentoring programs, school improvement initiatives, and numerous projects to improve student learning and development. I also acquired skills in budgeting, to include public schools, and business.
My education includes attending Radford University, where I earned my Bachelor of Science, and my certification to teach. I additionally completed my Masters of Education, in Administration and Supervision from The University of Virginia, an later my Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Shenandoah University.
I am running for a seat on the school board because I feel like I can contribute to the community through my experiences and education.
With two children in Radford City Schools, and a wife who teaches in the school division, I feel that serving on the school board is a wonderful way to give back to the community and the school division, in general. I love working with our youth, and also with our educators at every level, and wish to continue to do this as much as possible. In addition to the aforementioned, I also have a strong desire to help build our Career and Technical Education Areas. CTE Programs are vital to our community as they train our kids to graduate and have trade skills to begin immediate contribution to our society. I think this is vital to our community and surrounding communities, and would love to help facilitate building these programs as we improve in other areas.
Obviously, the entire country is being hit hard by the Covid-19 Crisis. On a community level, Radford City Schools is being, and will continue to be hit extremely hard by this pandemic. Moving forward, we not only have to deal with the immediate impacts, but also have to work toward our "new normal" over the next couple of years. Realistically, this will have a major impact on our budget, and possibly how we deliver instruction to our students. I think it is imperative to begin to look at our future budgets, and how we see our schools operating in a safe and efficient manner. I have experience dealing with a recession, from a public school perspective. I was serving as a principal during the 2008 economic recession, and had to make tough decisions and prioritize initiatives while not sacrificing student achievement. I would prioritize budget, beginning immediately. I would also prioritize the opening of the 2020-21 school year, and how that needs to be implemented.
A positive relationship with or local government is imperative during these times. There may obviously be debate, however, the youth in our community will be what makes the difference in Radford as we move into our future. Moving forward, we cannot only request funding from our City Council, but need to look at innovative methods of securing funding for our schools. I would propose that grants be written, partnerships with local and large businesses be formed, and all ideas explored to secure the proper funding four our students and teachers. This budget process needs to be considered immediately, as we cannot wait until this financial crisis ends to work on our school budgets. We need to take a proactive and aggressive approach immediately.
Equitable treatment of students is a priority for schools. I strongly believe a school board's role in this conversation is to establish policy that is concise and clear for or our administrators and teachers to administer. My belief is that this policy should provide clear direction to the staff, while ensuring safety for all teachers and staff, along with the equitable treatment for all.
I have experience as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, and principal in public education. I have a unique experience for our current board, as I have high school experience as a teacher and as a principal. Currently, to my knowledge, there isn't anyone in central office or on the school board with high school experience, so I believe this is extremely important for our school division. Additionally, I have my Doctorate of Education, and have experience managing large, complex, school budgets. I also serve on Executive Board for the Radford Chamber of Commerce, and volunteer coach for our recreation department.
Most importantly, I am a father of three wonderful children, and have the opportunity to understand how they view education and what is important to them in the educational process. My wonderful wife is a teacher in RCPS, so I also have insight into a teacher's view of the process.
Jenny and her husband Greg have two children who attend Radford schools. Jenny graduated from Radford University in 2003 with a Masters in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Greg, a Hokie, has taught at the SWVA Governor’s School for 13 years.
A Radford resident for 10 years, Jenny is one of the founders of Bobcat Backpacks - a nonprofit providing food for Radford City students in need. From 2014-16 she was McHarg’s PSA President and is active at Belle Heth, volunteering at school events, activities, and the PSA. Jenny sits on a variety of local and city boards and is extremely involved in community events.
Her passion for children, teachers, and their school environment is clear. She want every RCPS student to be welcomed with caring, supportive, prepared, and excited teachers and staff.
Transitioning with Transparency: We need leadership with the best interest of our children in mind and an awareness of the strain being put on our teachers and parents as we navigate the Continuity of Learning. Continued clear communication from RCPS & appropriate expectations are key.
McHarg Reconstruction: Leadership must stay focused on the the safety and support of staff during the move, for smooth transitions for students, and staying on budget while meeting facility needs. Aging buildings serve our older students, so conscientious spending on each project is mandatory.
Mental Health - Many of Radford’s students have difficult home lives, food insecurity, and are stressed with school changes. Our teachers do all they can to meet every student’s needs both educationally and emotionally. School-wide training is needed to help teachers identify and assist student mental health needs as well as to support our teachers who can be overwhelmed with the weight of their students’ trauma.
The VDOE reports our region has the lowest funding per pupil, but the highest percent of students with disabilities and the 2nd highest poverty rate. Due to our outstanding teachers bringing results on shoestring budgets, our math, reading, and science scores are highest in Virginia. Our Board has fought hard to pay our deserving teachers the 3rd highest starting salary in our area and must continue to stay competitive.
The current challenge is to meet needs while school is out, but not over. Teachers creating Continuity of Learning plans are moving assignments online and getting technology to students in need so that access is fair and equitable. I believe our school system is excelling in connecting with students and parents during this uncertain time.
The Board will have to create fair and equitable policy to address loss of classroom hours in placements, management of GPAs, and balancing the budget to address these emergency costs while providing for next year’s needs.
Our teachers work too hard to fund their classroom initiatives and continuing ed through crowdsourcing. The Board must advocate for their needs in Richmond through lobbying and consistent communication with our officials. We must demand that Radford not be forgotten in state budgets.
Also important is our connection with the Radford City Council. Joint sessions between boards have opened channels of collaboration. Discussing school facility and funding needs helps the city make their budget with RCPS in mind. By investing in our already exemplary schools, Radford City will prosper and grow.
We must also think creatively by partnering with charities like the Radford City Schools Partners for Excellence Foundation. Designed to support RCPS initiatives like Bobcat Backpacks and the RHS Gymnasium Remodel, this gives donors the opportunity to make tax deductible donations and allows for grants to be applied for to meet school facility and teacher project needs outside of a regular budget.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), I have expertise in assessing needs, advocating for at-risk populations, and finding solutions for children and families in the New River Valley. I am determined to meet every RCPS students’ needs equitably through creating policy that is based on current research. Every student must have access to the resources and facilities they need to achieve their goals.
We must provide access and support to educate our teachers and staff on implementing appropriate delivery of equitable instruction. It's imperative that we review and address any systems in place that create inequality and will require input from teachers, staff, parents, and students. Removing barriers to resources and facilities creates a system that puts students first.
It is the School Board’s responsibility to hire the best personnel to put those policies into action in our classrooms, creating equitable educational and mental health resources for every RCPS student.
I have a Masters in Social Work and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. As a School Based Clinician with NRVCS, my time in the schools taught me the value of working together with teachers and staff to create education plans that meet children’s academic and emotional needs as well as the importance of creating research based policy to create fair and equitable learning environments.
My time as a PSA member and PSA President at McHarg showed me that students need more than they could afford. Having limited access to weekend food affected their school work and their ability to meet their potential. In 2016, I co-founded the Bobcat Backpacks - a weekend food program serving 150+ RCPS kids a week.
I am a volunteer, a fundraiser, and a community organizer. I have worked inside the schools both professionally and as a parent volunteer. I will lend my skills as a mental health professional and a champion for children and families in need to the Radford City School Board.
I’m a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant for Interim Healthcare and provide in-home PT. I grew up in Pulaski, Va and graduated high school there. I have a BS in Biology from Mary Washington and an AAS from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.
I was looking for something to do to be more involved in the community and my son was very excited about the prospect of me running for school board. I want to see RCPS continue to move in a positive direction.
I feel like RCPS has moved in the right direction by moving to a modified block schedule and i think our academics are on target. However, I feel like we fall behind in the category of CTE/Vocational education and would like to see us increase our program offerings.
I believe the city and school board has already moved in the right direction by allocating portions of tax increases towards school funding. Additionaly, close contact with local and regional state representatives expressing our particular needs and strengths, partnering with local universities to provide options for securing grants, and utilization of local resources to provide guidance and support to identify and secure grants and local partnerships.
I believe that RCPS's core responsibility is to protect and educate all students. As long as we maintain that core responsibility with students, staff, faculty and guardians through broad communication about expectations for our student community we can guarantee a safe and equitable environment.
I grew up nearby, I have three children in the public school system, one of whom has previously needed help for a medical condition. I'm level headed, willing listen and work with others, a hard worker and tend to approach problems based on facts.