Warren County resident Stephanie J. Short says her “unique” experience in her children’s education would give her an edge if elected to the School Board in the Nov. 2 election.
Short is running for the Happy Creek District seat on the board. Longtime board member James S. Wells announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election when his term expires at the end of December. Short is running against Antoinette D. Funk for the seat.
Short said during a phone interview that she entered the race for the School Board seat when she was approached and encouraged to run after Wells announced he would not seek re-election.
“I talked to Mr. Wells and community members and, of course, my family and decided that it was probably a perfect opportunity to expand on my current service for my community,” Short said. “I’ve experienced all kinds of educational studies with my children, private to homeschool to virtual to public schools.
“So I think that my years of experience as a parent in those different educational settings would benefit the community and the School Board because I can bring in a unique perspective to the board,” Short added.
Short went on to say: “If elected, I will, of course, continue to serve the community by advocating for our children as I’ve done in the past.”
“My passion has actually been helping families of special-needs children, having children of my own who I’ve had to advocate for in the public school system,” Short said. “I want to ensure that we’re providing the best opportunities and resources for students, including our special needs students.
“I hope to be a lead voice that the community members, teachers, students feel that they can trust and know that I will take their concerns seriously and work to find a solution for them,” Short said.
Student achievement remains a concern, Short said.
“You want your students to do the best they can possibly do,” Short said. “Something that I’ve learned over the years is that there’s always room for improvement, and so I hope that this next year we’ll have a full year to fill in the learning gaps that were produced by COVID.
“I want to ensure that the teachers and staff have all the resources and support that they need,” Short said.
When asked where she stands on spending on school division administration compared to teachers, Short said she would need to review the budgets and expenses.
“But I do believe that it is important to ensure that teacher pay in Warren County is comparable with surrounding counties,” Short said. “It’s a huge loss when we lose highly qualified teachers to other school systems due to the difference in the pay scales, or not even necessarily the pay scale but maybe making sure they have the resources that they need and the support that they need.”
An Ohio native, Short graduated from Liberty Christian Academy in Columbus and moved to Virginia about 21 years ago. Short has lived in the Happy Creek District for most of that time. Short said she attended college but did not graduate.
“Life happened and I had kids,” Short said.
She’s worked as a preschool teacher and as an office manager. Short has been involved in school-related activities, such as the parent-teacher organization at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School, as well as the local Boys Scouts of America and the Front Royal Soccer Association.
Short has four children.
“Basically anything my kids have been involved in in some way,” Short said. “Basically anything that they played or a school they attended, I volunteered at.”
Short has served on the Apple Mountain Lake Homeowners Association. Many of the Apple Mountain Lake residents protested the development of a Sheetz near their neighborhood in Linden. The Board of Supervisors first denied the developer’s request to rezone the property to allow the project to move forward. The board later reconsidered its decision and voted in favor of the rezoning.