On Sept. 12, a new face will join the Nelson County School Board to represent the Central District.
The Central District seat on the school board has been vacant since long-time representative Dave Francis moved to the Richmond area with his wife in August. The four remaining board members, led by chair Janet Turner-Giles, interviewed two candidates on Aug. 29 for the position.
Doris Bibb, of Faber, and Rick Herbert, of Nellysford, are the two qualified candidates vying for the position of interim Central District representative on the school board. When the school board meets Sept. 12, it will immediately go into closed session and vote on an interim representative. Whoever is chosen will be the interim member until the winner of the Nov. 5 election in sworn in. Anyone wishing to run for the seat in November will have to be a write-in candidate.
During a public meeting last week where the two candidates answered questions presented by the four board members, Bibb and Herbert made it clear they both are passionate about supporting public education and the kids in Nelson County. Herbert, who has a background in education as well as engineering and finance, has experience mentoring at the middle school. Herbert told the board members he believes the individuals that make up a school system, including counselors, parents and teachers, all make a difference in students’ lives.
“I enjoy working with kids who have trouble getting traction in life because that was me,” Herbert said.
Bibb, who recently retired from Nelson County Public Schools after 43 years, said she already misses being in the schools and wants to continue to give back as a board member. Bibb also has experience with after-school tutoring at the middle school.
“There is nothing more valuable we give these children than education to help them compete in a world that is challenging,” Bibb said.
The candidates answered five questions asked by the current board members: What is your philosophy on public education? What do you believe are some key responsibilities of school board members? How can you balance the commitment of the position? What are some challenges the school division faces? What are contributions you think you can bring to the board?
Herbert and Bibb had similar answers throughout the interview process: Both are passionate about education, both have experience in the middle school, and both hope to continue to give back despite being retired. Ricki Perry, school counselor at the middle school, confirmed the similarities between the two candidates during the public comments portion of the meeting. Perry stated she’s worked with both of them at the middle school and believes both would be an asset on the school board.
“I think very highly of both candidates, so I think if either one of them were to win, we would be very blessed,” Perry said.
At the end of the meeting, which was attended by a handful of individuals, Turner-Giles thanked the two for applying for the position and told them what to expect in the coming weeks, including reminding them to be at the school board meeting Sept. 12 to hear the results.
George Cheape, interim East District school board member, will be on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 5. Because it is a special election, the deadline for applicants to submit the required signatures was extended and Cheape met that extended deadline.