Virginia School Board Candidates

Casey French
622 S. Cass St., Virginia
CASS Communications
Incumbent -
Has served 2 years
    Communication can be an issue for the school board.  It is vital that board members are communicating with the school administration and board members are hearing and speaking with parents.
    Another issue is remaining neutral with conflicts until all the facts are brought to light.
    One of my goals of being on the school board is to increase community involvement. We know that a school will continue to grow and be successful if parents, businesses, and community members are involved as much as possible.
    I also would like to see as many opportunities as possible for our students, in spite of having a small population.  I would be an advocate for expanding our curricular and athletic areas.  We need to embrace our town’s characteristics and recognize the advantage we do have.

Gary P. Bell

Mathew Werner
282 South Cass St.,Virginia
Healthcare consultant/lobbyist with Medicaid finance and policy expertise
 Incumbent -
Has served since June 2005
    Our challenge is to accomplish continuous improvement even as the state’s budget woes restrict and reduce funding. We must always work to align our community, administrators, teachers, and parents as best we can to provide opportunities for each student to grow and improve so they are able to pursue employment and further education.
    Education is so much more than a test score. We must continue to develop teachers, improve our technology, and improve communication with parents and community.
    I believe the goals for the board are to stay focused on continually improving the district for the benefit of our students and community.
    The board also should be engaged in the community as a whole. In a small town like Virginia, all units of government and community organizations should work together for the betterment of our community. Education provides a benefit to the community and we have a responsibility to be active.

Dustin Fritsche
131 E. Illini Street,
University of Illinois Extension Program Coordinator for Community and Economic Development
Incumbent - Appointed to fill a vacancy in May of 2013.
    The biggest issue is one of financing and budgets.  With the state of Illinois already not meeting their budget obligations, and schools facing further cuts, it will be a challenge to make ends meet.
    In Virginia, the issue of consolidation and cooperative agreements are always in the picture. In some ways the issues are intertwined.
    My stance is to help the district maintain and improve upon the quality of education and experience that exists for our students by finding the most prudent ways to spend the money we do have and working with the administration to find and implement any cost-saving measures that make sense for the district and our students.
    To offer the highest quality education and experience possible to the students in our district, to be fiscally prudent, to listen to our community members, to help Virginia increase enrollment, and to be a resource and an asset for the Virginia School District through my service on the board and in any capacity in which I can be of assistance.

Kara (Watson) Lynch
Philadelphia Township, Virginia
Instructor at Robert Morris University, Financial Analyst
Incumbent -
Has served for 6 years.
    The state has steadily decreased the amount of money (state aid funds) given to schools.  It is the school board's responsibility to maintain financial health and a balanced budget while offering the students a quality education. 
    To continue improving the quality of education offered to our students.

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