Martin Helsley

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of question and answer articles about local candidates running for office. The Northern Virginia Daily asked candidates for the Shenandoah County School Board to answer three questions. Unedited responses are below.

Marty Helsley and Jessica Kelly are vying for the District 2 seat held by Richard Koontz, who is not running for re-election.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I was born in Shenandoah County; I was raised on a farm that has been in my family for over 100 years; I attended the local schools and then when on to Va Tech, majoring in Dairy Science and Agriculture Education. I returned to the county and taught middle school-science and math to grade 7 and 8 for 32 years. I truly enjoyed my teaching years working with wonderful students and colleagues. I was awarded Shenandoah County Teacher of the year in 1998. I retired from teaching in 2006.

Why are you running for School Board? 

I was encouraged to run by many friends who think I could add a valuable voice in the decision making process of SCPS.

I also served on the Board of Supervisors from 1978-1981 which will help me understand that tax dollars are spent wisely. I am in the community talking to people and asking questions about SCPS. I have been successful in operating a century farm in the Wakeman's Grove section raising cattle, corn, and soybeans.

What is the biggest problem facing the School Board and how would you solve it?

1- wasteful spending--asking questions during the budget process--eliminating programs that are outdated--eliminating expensive studies

2- discipline in the schools--concrete plan for administrators to follow and backup at the central office

3- grading policy--eliminated the 50 grading policy

4- excessive personal at the central office--combine responsibilities 

5- drugs--combine effort with the sheriff department