With longtime chairman possibly on way out, Beach School Board sees competition for vice chair

A competition has emerged for the Virginia Beach School Board’s vice chair position, a seat that could carry extra weight with longtime chairman Dan Edwards possibly entering his last year with the School Board.

Edwards, a Board member since 1998 and the chairman for the last 16 years, hinted recently that he might not seek another term. He said he would make his decision around May.

“I will for the record state my term (as a School Board member) runs through the end of next year, and I’m willing to serve again next year in leadership if you’ll want me,” Edwards said Tuesday at a workshop. “Beyond next year, I don’t know. I don’t know whether I’m running.”

The School Board elects a new chair and vice-chair at the beginning of every year. The vote for 2016 is scheduled for its Jan. 5 meeting.

School Board members Beverly Anderson and Carolyn Weems both said at the meeting Tuesday that they are seeking the vice chairperson’s seat. Anderson has held it for the past year.

“Dan and I worked very well together this year, and I feel that the board has a sense of unity that we haven’t experienced in many years,” Anderson said. “I’m very proud of how this board has come together.”

Anderson said that as a retiree she has more time than others to visit schools, stay on top of what is going on in the district and keep the Board as her top priority.

“I plan my life around the meetings of our Board and around my commitment to attending events that reflect the Board’s presence at educational events and social functions that we’re invited to as Board members,” she said.

Weems, a Board member since 2002, said she is interested in the position as long as Edwards is interested in keeping the chairmanship for 2016. She said sought the vice chairperson’s seat last year but pulled her name from consideration due to family circumstances and the fact that she decided on seeking late in the process. She said she has more time for it this year, even though she is not retired.

“We all do what we can,” Weems said. “I do work. I do have a family. This is a part-time job — I’m not going to kid you and say it’s 100 percent my life because it’s not.”

Weems said she believes her experience and the fact that she has served on many committees, and her experience as liaison to the Green Run Collegiate Board, makes her a strong candidate.

“I just hope that my colleagues give me a chance to serve because I’m asking for a turn to serve as vice chair,” Weems said.

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