Letter to the Editor: Candidate would bring experience, expertise


Voters in Shenandoah County’s 5th District have some good choices for School Board – Lord Fairfax Community College executive Chris Boies, former teacher and principal Shelby Kline and current bus driver Gene Putkowski. Each would bring some perspective to the School Board, but I think Chris Boies’ experience and expertise would add the most to that board’s deliberations.

The current School Board has one retired teacher and principal, Karen Whetzel. Holtzman Oil executive Rick Koontz brings a business perspective to the School Board. Cyndy Walsh, my wife, is both a parent activist and the executive director of an educational nonprofit. Pastor Sonya Williams-Giersch brings the perspective of the clergy.

To this mix, Chris would add a lot. In his capacity as vice president for Administration and Finance at LFCC, Chris oversees a $36 million budget, including many of the same items – faculty, technology, facilities – that our school budgets contain. He oversees security at LFCC, and security is unfortunately becoming more of an issue for Shenandoah County Public Schools. He also oversees the physical plant, and has insights that can help us deal with our aging buildings.

Chris is about to complete his doctorate of education in administrative leadership. In fact, next week he will defend his dissertation, which is about maintaining good morale among educational staff. Given the high turnover rate among county teachers, we could use some expertise in preserving staff morale.

Along with his other endeavors, Chris serves as the president of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber concerns itself with fostering a pro-growth business climate in Shenandoah County, and Chris knows first-hand how important good schools are to attracting businesses and new residents.

Last, Chris and his wife Brandy have three children in the county schools. While everyone has a stake in local education, parents have a particular interest. The Boies children will be in the county schools for many years to come, and their parents are second to none in their commitment to see that their children have a good education.

As someone who works closely with local education policy, I think Chris’ considerable expertise would serve Shenandoah County very well.

Dan Walsh