Retired police officer to run for School Board

Van Holmes

Van Holmes

A retired law enforcement officer seeks a seat on the Shenandoah County School Board.

Van C. Holmes III will challenge Sonya Williams-Giersch to represent District 6 on the board in the Nov. 3 general election.

Holmes retired as a lieutenant from the Maryland State Police after 28 years, finishing his time in the planning and research division where he assisted in budget preparation and reviewed legislation.

Holmes, 61, ran against Supervisor Conrad Helsley for the District 6 seat on the Board of Supervisors four years ago and lost.

Holmes grew up in Maryland. He attended University of Maryland and then, while working in law enforcement, completed his degree in police administration at American University in Washington, D.C.

Holmes and his wife Martha moved to Shenandoah County almost nine years ago and quickly “fell in love” with the area. He has spent time since then getting to know the school system by attending extracurricular activities and supporting the teams and groups.

Holmes said he’s started talking with employees in the schools, not necessarily in the administration, to assess the education system’s needs.

“I’m not looking for the dog-and-pony show; I’m looking for the people that do the work and I’ve started getting information and ideas from them about the school system,” Holmes said. “What do we need to do better from the school board aspect or the administration aspect and what is working really good and we need to keep doing?

“As a teacher, what can we do to make your teaching more effective?” Holmes said.

Holmes also works part-time and said he plans to take the time he needs to as a board member if elected.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or

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