A retired Woodstock center faculty principal just lately introduced his candidacy for the East Fairfax District seat on the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors on this November election.
David Lee, 63, moved to Culpeper 10 years in the past and lives within the Highview housing improvement off Orange Highway. He’s the daddy of an grownup son and daughter and has been an educator and administrator for greater than 30 years. Lee retired in 2020 from Cedar Lee Center College in Fauquier County. He holds a bachelor’s diploma in Spanish from Wake Forest College and a grasp’s diploma in bodily training from UNC Chapel Hill.
The primary time a politician is working as an impartial to signify one of many metropolis’s two boroughs on the board, the realm east of Principal Road.
It was a course in good governance on the Sorensen Institute on the College of Virginia, and what he noticed visiting native Commonwealth governments, that prompted him to run.
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What struck me all through all of those levels was repeatedly the facility of native authorities to affect the lives of your residents and make such an enormous distinction. This was very highly effective for me and it struck me how essential good native authorities is to enhancing individuals’s lives and making issues higher or worse relying on who’s in it, Lee stated in a latest interview.
He stated he at all times had this concept of working.
I simply suppose for me it is a pure outgrowth of all my years of training making an attempt to make a constructive distinction. She stated that she has determined to run for the board of supervisors to hopefully add some concepts and a few expertise to do what she will be able to to enhance issues regionally.
Lee brings the considerate and pragmatic strategy of a longtime educator and administrator, who for a few years was a disciplinarian for center faculty college students as an assistant principal in quest of widespread floor and accountability.
He comes from a household of educators and bought his begin on the sphere as athletic director on the Boys Membership in downtown Paterson, New Jersey. It was a rewarding and difficult expertise that introduced him again to Virginia for the remainder of his public faculty profession.
Working for workplace, Lee has a four-pronged platform of priorities if elected: public training, psychological well being companies, the atmosphere, and legislation enforcement.
When discussing public training, academics’ salaries topped the listing.
Lee stated Culpeper County has executed an excellent job of enhancing trainer salaries. He did not know the essential pay for first-year academics beginning at Culpeper. That is $48,015 and is predicted to extend within the new finances yr, in accordance to a college spokeswoman.
For a very long time, many academics got here from Culpeper’s faculty division to Fauquier as a result of the pay and advantages have been higher, Lee stated.
Over time this began to vary us and made us higher. A lot of that will depend on academics’ salaries, she identified.
If you’re the principal of the college, you search for high-performing individuals, and it is so arduous to seek out actually good individuals, with out good salaries, Lee stated.
Lecturers depart for better-paying jobs, repeatedly, and that has a detrimental impact in your faculty, she stated.
A trainer could make such an enormous distinction as a result of they’re so good at what they’re doing and develop wholesome relationships with their youngsters, Lee stated. They’ll deliver the youngsters up right here and push them additional and the youngsters additional down and work with them to boost them. You’ll be able to’t preserve all these individuals if they are not paid properly they are going to depart.
Virginia ranks twenty fifth in trainer pay, Lee stated, noting 3,700 vacancies for academics at the moment statewide.
When you’ve got a faculty and you’ve got seven or eight of your workers educating posts with long-term captions, that is not good. It isn’t nearly trainer pay however concern about retention and recruitment, she stated.
On placing psychological well being on the focus, Lee stated she does not have all of the solutions, however she can be contacting group companies and different allied professionals to make it a precedence.
I need to level this out and if I am elected I might like to speak to the individuals who do that within the county, what can we do to make it higher?
Psychological well being consciousness and coaching in faculties have to be a shift in pondering so that everybody is on board, she stated. That is one thing we can not placed on the again burner. When a 3rd of teenage women are severely contemplating suicide, that is a full-blown emergency, an epidemic, in my thoughts.
There must be a bigger effort to deal with all psychological well being points in Culpeper, he added.
I’m an advocate of communities coming collectively to make issues occur. I do know what it is prefer to deliver individuals collectively for a mission, 150 workers members, everybody working collectively could make dramatic adjustments on the planet, in each little space, she stated.
On the atmosphere, Lee stated he needs to advertise a greening of Culpeper. The county has executed an excellent job with its parks and farmland conservation, but it surely ought to do extra to cut back its carbon footprint, he stated she.
For instance, Lee requested, the place are the EV charging stations and strong recycling packages?
Different counties are doing a number of issues. Albemarle has a carbon motion plan, issues individuals can do at dwelling and on farms, Loudoun has a extremely aggressive plan. We may contemplate doing the identical factor, he stated, by supporting an environmental fee or a inexperienced financial institution to fund startup initiatives.
Make a aware effort to plant extra bushes and harvest rainwater, the candidate stated, of his international imaginative and prescient.
We will not simply stick our heads within the sand and hope that all the pieces will get higher. We should act now. I believe there are lots of people in our county who really feel the identical approach and are ready for somebody to return, for example, let’s go do one thing about it, Lee stated. I might be improper, I may get laughed out of right here, that is positive, however I’ll attempt one thing that most individuals are conscious of and suppose is essential.
When requested concerning the authorised and proposed photo voltaic crops in Stevensburg, Lee stated he isn’t too positive about placing them on farmland and backing smaller-scale initiatives.
Inserting your photo voltaic farms in places which are meant for these sorts of issues makes probably the most sense—industrial or light-industrial or tech zones, he stated.
I prefer to exit and discuss to individuals, zoning individuals like [solar projects] Work. I do know there’s some huge cash concerned, and you may’t fund issues like faculties and psychological well being packages with out the cash coming in, Lee stated of the necessity to strike a stability.
The candidate stated he respects and admires legislation enforcement, citing intensive interactions with MPs throughout his time with the college system. Lee advocated higher pay and aggressive advantages on the sheriff’s workplace.
I am very impressed with the standard of the those who put on that uniform, then you definitely get to know them, you hear a few of the women and men on the SWAT groups would do drug raids at 4am, what you study, is tough work that they’re always placing into it their lives, he stated.
They’re paid lower than academics, I believe, and but they’re on the market doing a thankless job of creating positive the remainder of us are protected.
A vice chair of the council and mentor on the Culpeper Literacy Council, Lee stated she needs to signify all populations, together with cities with rising Hispanic populations. Immigrants come to America escaping violence and poverty.
They’re fleeing for his or her lives, so maybe we should always welcome them with open arms and do what we are able to to assist them, Lee stated.
A member of the general public transportation board that oversees the town and county public bus and trolley system, the candidate seeks no native occasion nomination in his bid for native workplace.
We’re such a polarized nation and I completely don’t need to be a part of it. I am not going, Lee stated. I need to hearken to everybody, whether or not conservative or liberal, I believe everybody must be heard.
He lives in a row home in a big neighborhood, constructed within the early 2000s, situated subsequent to a big parcel of land alongside US Route 29 being ready for a whole bunch extra new properties. Development subsequent door is wholesome, Lee stated.
You need to have it, it has been zoned residential, a builder has are available, Culpepers will develop, that is a great factor, he stated.
When requested about a few of his favourite spots within the East Fairfax District, Lee referred to as Beer Hound Brewery down by the Depot on Waters Road and the again of the previous Pitts Theater, State Climb, owned by his daughter’s boyfriend, Dos Allen.
In closing, the candidate mirrored on his model of presidency, discovered from the Sorensen Institute and from many years of public training.
You need to hearken to and study from individuals, so you possibly can present management, make good selections about what is going on on, Lee stated. So many sides, thorny points, a lot to take a look at, so you need to say, what’s our determination? What’s greatest for the most individuals, your county general?
East Fairfax first time period supervisor Kathy Campbell, an East Road resident, stated she intends to run for a second time period within the subsequent election. The proprietor of the native actual property agency stated she would apply as an impartial.
What have I bought to lose? Campbell stated in a message Saturday morning. I’ve had lots of people need me to get again to racing.