Eight people are vying for one seat on Hanover County’s School Board.
The Mechanicsville District seat on the seven-member board expires June 30. Hanover is one of 16 localities in Virginia that appoints its school board members. There’s no public election; rather, board members are appointed by the county’s Board of Supervisors for four-year, staggered terms. The Mechanicsville supervisor is W. Canova Peterson.
Each individual publicly nominated themselves at the April 27 Board of Supervisors meeting, or were nominated by someone else. A ninth nominee — Chris Cray — was nominated by another individual at that meeting, though Cray has since declined the nomination.
Each candidate will be interviewed by Peterson, and the full Board of Supervisors will vote on the appointment at its May 25 meeting.
The Times-Dispatch asked each candidate a series of questions. Their responses are running daily through Sunday.
WHO: Atlee High alum Ryan Martin earned a degree in business management from Virginia Tech and is currently vice president and chief operating officer for Accumark, Inc. He is an NCAA basketball referee, and he and his wife, Ally, have three children, including one in Hanover schools and two who will be in the next three years.
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QUESTION: What compelled you to nominate yourself? What qualities would you bring to the Hanover County School Board?
MARTIN: A call to serve our kids, teens, teachers, staff and the HCPS community. I want to aid in providing the best experience and education possible for Hanover students.
The last few years, it seems that the decisions surrounding their well-being is made by people least impacted. I want to serve, always remaining focused on doing what is right for our students and HCPS. My own kids being part of HCPS guarantees that I have a significant vested interest for many years to come. [I bring] leadership, sound judgment and the ability to see multiple sides of complex issues. I’m not afraid of difficult conversations nor making difficult decisions.
QUESTION: What are the most pressing issues or challenges facing Hanover County schools? How would you address them?
MARTIN: There are many hot topics facing school systems across the country. HCPS is already a great school system. Continuous improvement should be the goal of any effective organization, and our school system should be no different.
We should always be looking at ways to get better at how we serve the students and faculty. Whether that is through technology, curriculum, investments or a combination thereof, delivering the best possible education and experience should be our goal.
I think a key for any effective School Board member is to get in the schools. Talk to the students, faculty, staff and parents. Listen to their concerns and what issues they see and face. What’s working? What’s not working? What can we do as a School Board to help? I feel very strongly that to lead effectively, we must listen more than we talk.