meeting the board [Virginian - Pilot]
(Virginian - Pilot Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The School Board has five new members this year - a turnover of unusual size for an 11-member panel. To better introduce the new members to readers, we asked them to answer a few questions.
Joel McDonald Jr. represents Rose Hall, or District 3. He lives in Chimney Hill and owns Comit Strategies, a communication and information technology consulting firm. Previously he was a data support specialist and school improvement coordinator with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He has been active in the Luxford Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, the Virginia Beach Education Association and the Little Theatre of Virginia Beach.
1. What was the most meaningful part of your own educational experience, and how might it affect what you'd like to do on the School Board
I both enjoyed and gained much from my experiences in career and technical education and the performing arts. They were the most meaningful part of my educational experience as they allowed me to go beyond the basics, and provided opportunities to problem-solve, collaborate and work toward tangible results. Students should have opportunities to go beyond standard academics, and I'm pleased to see that the commonwealth and the city are on the path to making that possible. I will support those efforts.
2. How has your career influenced your thoughts on education
Six years of working in our schools as a data support specialist and school improvement coordinator allows me to understand how policy impacts administration, teachers, parents and students at the building level. We have some serious morale issues that we need to address, as I believe this has an impact on the quality of instruction and student success. I am going to work to make sure we are treating teachers, administrators and all support staff fairly and professionally. And I will seek ways where we can improve morale and attract the best to serve the needs of our students.
3. What are you most interested in hearing about from the people you represent
I believe every resident of Virginia Beach is a stakeholder in the success of our schools, and that any concern about any issue that can have an impact on our success is important. I will make every effort to make myself available to listen to those concerns, and seek ways where we can improve to be even more successful than we are.
Coming next Sunday: an interview with new School Board member Elizabeth "Betsy" Evans Taylor.
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