An educator of more than 20 years is seeking a seat on the Warren County School Board in a special election on Election Day.

Angela Clark Robinson, 44, is running to represent the North River District. Her opponent, Melanie Salins, was appointed to the School Board after Arnold Williams Jr. resigned in July because he moved out of the district.

Robinson said in a recent phone interview that she is running because of her experience in education and a desire to give back to the community.

“Well, being a public educator I’ve always been very passionate about school, students, parents, and with the challenging times we’re facing right now with public education, I felt it would be a great way to help our community,” Robinson said. “We need to strive to come together. I feel like I have a pretty deep knowledge of public schools working for them for 23 years, and I’ve built really great relationships with the parents and students alike here in this county. My family works as educators in the county as well and it’s an important part of my life so I thought why not (run).”

Robinson lived in Warren County, moved to her hometown of Amissville, then returned to the county about five years ago. Her husband, Marcus Robinson, is a Warren County native of the North River District and works for the federal government. Her stepson attends eighth grade at Skyline Middle School.

Robinson graduated from Rappahannock County High School in 1994 and then attended Shenandoah University where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Robinson has been a teacher for 23 years. In 1999, she began her career in Warren County Public Schools, where she taught for 17 years. She now teaches in Fauquier County Public Schools. Robinson also received her certification as a math specialist in 2020.

Robinson commented on the importance of paying teachers competitive salaries.

“Having been an educator, I obviously did not go into it based on salary,” Robinson said. “Many, as well as myself, have had more than one job at a time, which is ... unfair, but we know our passions are in education regardless of salary.

“However, I think it’s coming to light that we need to start paying our teachers more,” Robinson said. “Through the pandemic, we have seen how vital we are as a school system and how the children need to be back in school, so I would like to work on building our salary scale.”

Robinson said Warren County Public Schools has tried to compete with surrounding divisions for teachers and has improved in that effort in recent years.

“We need to keep our teachers here, not just for money, but give them the respect and the admiration they deserve as well, and when they’re loved they don’t want to go either,” Robinson said.

“I feel like if I’m elected, I obviously need to work very closely with the board members and the superintendent to discuss what’s best for the school system,” Robinson said. “We must work collaboratively and not butt heads but truly be unbiased and find what’s best.”

Robinson she’s running on an apolitical platform.

“I do not feel politics should ever be in a school system and I know it’s a heavy discussion now but it’s so important that we look towards the future and what’s important for these children and our teachers to be successful,” Robinson said, adding that she looks forward to speaking with community members, teachers and children. “I think that’s important, that we hear from the students and how they feel about so many things and that could help determine what’s best moving forward for Warren County.”

National politics has made it difficult for school divisions across the country to make decisions, Robinson said.

“I think understanding and compassion needs to go throughout the community and just a positive discourse to truly look at what’s best for kids and what’s best to keep our community growing,” Robinson said. “I think about it all the time how our children are watching us and they need to learn from us because they are our future.”

Robinson said her personal beliefs don’t matter when it comes to the School Board policies and where she stands on requiring that students wear face masks. Robinson would not say whether or not she agreed with the state reinstating a mandate for students to wear masks in school.

“I feel we are doing what we are asked by the government, and we have to find a way to get these kids back in (school) five days a week,” Robinson said. “If I was sitting on the School Board right now, I would base that on what we’re seeing as a community and how we’re gonna get these kids educated every single day."

– Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com