My wife, Heather and I have lived in Stafford for most of our lives. We grew up here and are profoundly proud to say we’re raising our children here, too. Over the last four years I have become increasingly concerned about the prerogatives and priorities of the School Board, particularly those of the current Falmouth representative. Having previously served on the School Board, I am deeply committed to ensuring we have the best schools in Virginia and our current and future students have an education foundation on which they, their families and our great Stafford community can build a strong and successful future.
Our school division, like the rest of Virginia and the nation, has been faced with substantial challenges. From initial and long-term response to the pandemic, when and how to return to school, continued growth of our student populations, and meeting continuing needs to harbor objectively effective learning for every student school boards have faced these challenges in a variety of ways. Here in Stafford, I’ve been concerned and frankly dismayed about how our School Board has dealt with these various issues. In short, at every turn, our Board has chosen to convolute these challenges by pursuing radical remedies that have largely ignored Stafford’s historically strong education foundation. In furtherance of these radical remedies and so-called theories, they have become increasingly critical and confrontational against our residents, turning our schools into some kind of laboratory where our children have sadly become the experiment.
I had considered filing for election and running for the School Board in the Falmouth District in June. however, consideration of both family demands and family impact that elected office entails created great reluctance for me and my family. At the time, I was also of the mindset there wasn’t much more erosion of our schools that could happen. Unfortunately, the promise and cautious optimism of returning our students to their classrooms has instead devolved into a continuing demonstration of the failure of our Board to plan and lead. And while most recent headlines are about busing and transportation, the real failures are observed in drastic declines in student performance and teacher turnover.
So, I could not stand on the sideline any longer. After being asked by a number of neighbors and voters throughout the Falmouth District to run for the School Board I have decided to enter the race as a write-in candidate. This is not going to be an easy election, but with your help we can be successful and bring common sense back to the School Board.
If you live in the Falmouth District when you vote this year, I am asking you to write my name in for School Board. When you receive your ballot there will be one name on it and a box to check and a line to write my name in. Please write “Scott Hirons” in for School Board.
Scott and Heather Hirons
The School Board must take responsibility of the school division’s budget. Over the last four years budgeting has been highly delegated to administration. When I previously served on the School Board I served as the Finance and Budget Committee and worked closely with fellow members and the Board of Supervisors to develop annual budgets.
The primary responsibility of the School Board is to set the priorities of the school division. The best way to do so is to adopt and maintain a division Strategic Plan. Over the last four years Strategic Planning has been put on the shelf. During my previous service on the School Board I worked closely with the Superintendent to adopt a Strategic Plan. Since we adopted that plan the School Board has not revised or even looked at the plan to guide them on setting priorities and budgeting.
Return to Normal
We are going to return to normal. As of now there is no planning of what normal will look like in our schools. The start of the school year, this year, was a mess. Transportation issues were not considered while returning to in-person instruction. No questions were asked about the ability of transportation to deliver our children to school and home on-time. The School Board needs to be the watch keepers of the operations of the school division. They need to ask the difficult questions and ensure everything is looked at from every angle.