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Medawar for School BoardA collection of news articles about schools and education - sometimes specifically about Stafford County Schools, but also from other parts of Virginia or the country.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:00 AM

What does it take to combat intolerance? Students at a Virginia high school find out.

Medawar for School Board

Friday, October 11, 2019 12:00 AM

All-women Delta crew flies 120 girls to NASA headquarters to inspire female aviators

This story is an example of showing students possibilities. A student is quoted as saying it is an exciting time to be in STEM! I agree! Students should be able to “see” themselves in STEM fields and have opportunities to explore careers. Such a great example Delta gives with this trip!

As a former math teacher and a self proclaimed STEMinist, I believe we need to be intentional about the introduction of STEM lessons early. They need exposure early so that girls and other under represented groups don’t self select themselves out of the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Our area is filled with STEM jobs, we need to be building that talent pipeline.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:00 AM

Editorial: Wanted More School Bus Drivers

The editorial describes the issue, data as to the causes, and even offers possible solutions. The fact is that these are our children, and we must figure out how to accomplish the enormous task of getting them to and from school each day safely and on time. As your school board member, one of my top priorities is attracting, developing, and retaining bus drivers, teachers, administrators, and other school support staff.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:00 AM

Chamber holds workforce development event at Expo

Another post about the fabulous Discover Your Future Event! Huge shout out to Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, all the schools, all the businesses, and all the volunteers that made this event possible and will no doubt make it even better even next year!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 12:00 AM

2019 Virginia Education and Workforce Conference - Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Virginia Chamber of Commerce  Education and Workforce Conference 2019


The words for the day at the 2019 Virginia Education and Workforce Conference are TALENT, WORKFORCE, EDUCATION, and PARTNERSHIPS!

I believe understanding this is key to moving our educational programs forward.

Additional words include, ACCESS, OPPORTUNITY, and AFFORDABILITY.

As your school board member, I will make it a priority to build these partnerships, communicate opportunities, and increase access for all students.

Monday, October 7, 2019 12:00 AM

Soldier Returns Home from Deployment, Surprises Brother at Colonial Forge Pep Rally

Amazing stories happen everyday in our schools! It sure is great when they get a larger audience! Homecoming week will be remembered for more than just football games and silly dress up days at school for these brothers!

Monday, October 7, 2019 12:00 AM

Things Have Gotten So Bad - Why Teachers are Leaving the Classroom for Good

Medawar for School Board - Confronting the Teacher Crisis

I believe the tone at the top can change and we can do better. Retention isn’t just a Stafford problem, but we can make Stafford the kind of place that educators want to come to, and want to stay. I am so proud of every single educator who steps out to fight for better for their students.

I have a plan for how we address recruiting, developing, and retaining our educators. We didn’t get to this point overnight and it will take time and commitment to make things better. All that is needed is the intentional effort and the decision that we simply can not ignore the issue any longer.

Friday, September 27, 2019 12:00 AM

Opinion: Why Do Good Teachers Leave Teaching?

Former Stafford School Board member, David Kerr writes about the troubling trend of retaining quality teachers and support staff. This is one of the most pressing issues for SCPS. We must find a way to stop the mass exodus.

Compensation is a huge part of this, but I believe we must also address the working and learning conditions of our schools. I have long supported school climate surveys that gather data. We need to stop some of the guessing about “why” it’s happening and start dealing directly with the work of creating solutions. For years I have heard anecdotal stories from hours of attending public comment sessions at Stafford school board and board of supervisors meetings. Our teachers, paras, bus drivers, and other staff have continued to show up and tell their stories and articulate why they will leave.

One statistic that tells a great deal is the number of educators who live in Stafford and work in northern school districts. This illuminates that it’s not really that we have a shortage of teachers. We just have a shortage that have chosen to work where they live. I believe that there are things we can do to create the kind of work climate that will make our teachers and ESPs want to stay. What makes them more motivated to deal with the traffic and pass our schools along their commute? Have we asked them?

I’m particularly grateful that the article mentions the role administrators and evaluation play in retention as well as parents and the community support. We should not just be looking at the success of students on tests as the sole measure of how a school is performing. Looking at multiple measures and indicators of how a school is doing and what kinds of resources and supports are needed in order to improve student performance would be a far better use of our time.

I also left my SCPS classroom. It was partially because I was a candidate for school board, but it was also because I wanted to continue to be an advocate for my students and colleagues in a different way.

When I taught in a surrounding district I was struck at the new teacher orientation how they stressed they wanted educators to “Work Here, Live Here, and Thrive Here.” That message resonated with me.

I believe our community members support the work of our schools. I think they want to see our educators and students THRIVE. In order to do this we must address what our staff needs in order to feel supported in their work.... and then put those resources in place.

Thursday, September 26, 2019 12:00 AM

State superintendent hears about Fredericksburg school's improvements, needs

Medawar for School Board - Career Technical EducationDr. Lane, State Superintendent of Education, visited Fredericksburg City Schools but the message about needing additional social workers, and CTE staff is not a problem isolated in Fredericksburg. All school divisions are competing for talent.

It is time for Stafford to think about how we can expand our CTE programs and also how we can nurture and begin some "grow your own" programs.

We need Teach For Tomorrow programs in all our high schools to address a growing shortage of educators.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 12:00 AM

VA Sec. of Education Hears Mental Health Ideas from CHS Students

Medawar for School Board - Secretary of Education Atif QuarnI’m glad to hear that the mental heath and wellbeing of students is getting more attention at the state level.

Last year a good first step was taken by increasing the number of school counselors. There were also changes to how counselors spent their day.

I believe we have some work to do on the local level when it comes to addressing the mental health needs of our students and families.

Connecting resources available in the community and building stronger partnerships locally is something I have been discussing and getting feedback on as I talk to parents.

I see other divisions being more intentional about this work and I believe we have the opportunity to grow on this issue.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 12:00 AM

The Teacher Shortage Is Real and about to Get Much Worse. Here's Why

Medawar for School Board - Teacher Retention - FEE ArticleThe number of teachers willing to accept poor working conditions is shrinking. The lack of autonomy and support, and not having educational leaders who seek educator’s feedback and input about policy and curriculum decisions is contributing to the problem.

I don’t really like to use the term “teacher shortage,” because there are a number of teachers who have made the conscious choice to leave the profession because of these conditions. Improve the conditions and you have the possibility of them returning.

The pool of students choosing a teaching career is shrinking because they clearly see that the cost of tuition and student debt they will incur is not proportional to the pay upon graduation. They also see the working conditions and determine they want a better quality of life. This coupled with the expanding options and types of jobs that give people more flexibility and allow millennials to feel mission driven in their work is exacerbating the problem.

It will be school divisions that attract young people to the teaching workforce that thrive in the future. Even more important perhaps is that the school divisions that are successful in keeping them will excel. That means addressing the leaking bucket of teachers at multiple holes. I have ideas about this. Ideas grounded in research and best practice, not just lip service and talking points.

Let’s start with electing school division leaders that seek to empower the teachers because they have been in the classroom themselves, and understand the challenges and opportunities.

Let’s be intentional about generating interest in educational careers while students are in our high schools and support them in college with scholarships, internship opportunities, and promise of a job upon graduation.

Let’s listen to those charged with educating our kids and when they bring challenges to the attention of administration and the school board let’s make a process to address them.

This is the way we compete and outperform other school districts.

Attract Talent.

Create a working environment they don’t want to leave.

Reward Experience and Innovation.

Collaborate to continually improve.

Monday, September 16, 2019 12:00 AM

Area first responders come out in a big way to help city boy celebrate his birthday

Medawar for School Board - Autism - Special EdAs a former special education teacher, I was so impressed at how the community came together to support the entire family and wish Brian a very Happy Birthday.


I was able to talk to his mom for a few minutes at the event and watch her be interviewed by a DC news channel. Brian was excited to sit in a fire truck and police car, and hang out with the K-9s. It was a wonderful party - pulled together by some caring individuals who saw a need and sprung into action.

Sometimes we just need to stop and appreciate all the heroes we have living and working around us! I talked to the camera man for a few minutes as he was packing up to leave and you could tell he was thrilled to be there to capture the moments as well.

Thankful for the village, and hoping we just made the world a little more inclusive. Happy Birthday Brian!

Saturday, August 17, 2019 12:00 AM

School Board to Discuss Adding AC to School Kitchens

So glad they are going to start the conversation about this. My question is why has this not already been a priority? Particularly because some of these schools have already had major renovations or have been scheduled for renovations on the CIP.  One of my biggest priorities is improving the process for creating a priority list for our existing schools and how new schools are being added.  

Friday, August 16, 2019 12:00 AM

Stafford Schools to Make Security Changes

School safety is my first priority, all children and staff deserve a safe learning environment.  

Monday, August 12, 2019 12:00 AM

New Moncure Opens

Congratulations to all the students and staff as they open the new Moncure Elementary. I remember being 5 years old and being the first kindergarten class to open a new elementary school. The excitement is contagious! This county continues to add approximately 200 new elementary students each year and we need to have elected leaders who are committed to planning accordingly for the projected growth. Our kids need a strong voice on the school board advocating for them to have great spaces to learn in.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 12:00 AM

Best School Districts Rankings

In today's world you are either trending up or down.  I want to see the downward trend reversed and I believe I have what it takes to restore the reputation for excellence in our school system.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 12:00 AM

More Students Less Staffing Leads to Increase Workload

Our county needs a voice on the school board who is familiar with policy at both the state and national levels and how those decisions will impact the local level.  I also believe we need strong communication about how the decisions impact our students.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 12:00 AM

Stafford County Adopts Budget

This budget is a huge step in the right direction.  We must find a way to leave the politics out of the process and work together to solve real challenges we have with funding the growth in our schools.  I am thrilled that all county employees will see increases in salary, but in order to be competitive with northern VA we must be work on long term solutions.  Continuing to increase taxes to meet the needs of the county is not a sustainable model.  

Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:00 AM

Area Races for Primary in June and November

Shares information about local races.  If you have questions about registering to vote, where to vote, or other related issues please reach out to our campaign and we will be happy to help get you the information you need.  

Sunday, April 14, 2019 12:00 AM

Encouraging Stafford Students to Change the Wold

I believe that we need to empower our Stafford students to see how they can make a big impact on the world.  This is just one example describing how elementary students can get involved in improving outcomes for their community.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 12:00 AM


Link to redistricting map and information.

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