Southampton County School Board Northwest District candidate: Cassandra Hobbs
Published 10:53 am Monday, October 23, 2023
1.) Can you briefly summarize why you decided to run for a seat on the Southampton County School Board?
For nearly two decades, I have observed many highlights that Southampton County Public Schools has achieved and challenges we have faced and overcome. Neighbors and friends have expressed concerns regarding a significant decrease in student success, which some attribute to the decrease of highly qualified teachers. Others have shared concerns regarding lack of competitive salaries. In viewing the VDOE School Quality Profile for SCPS, I am pleased to see that our schools are all accredited for the 2022-23 school year. However, the concerns of constituents still resonated with me. Additionally, a friend asked me if I would consider running for the Northwest District seat on the Southampton County School Board, and I decided to do so. I am certain that my personal character traits, vast knowledge base, skills, and influence gained as a citizen of Southampton County, parent of SCPS students, and 33 years of service in varied areas of education will allow me to work collaboratively with other school board members to support students, staff members, and our community, and will benefit the Northwest District in being equitably heard, informed, and supported.
2.) What experience and achievements would you cite that support your bid as being the best candidate to serve as the school board’s Northwest District representative?
Experiences that make me the best candidate to serve as the Northwest District school board member include being a 32-year educator who has attained a B.S. in Elementary Education, M.S. in Reading K-12, and CAGS in Adult Education, which provide me with vast knowledge about the educational needs of students, teachers, and other adults who serve students. Teaching positions I have held, such as classroom teacher, reading intervention teacher, reading specialist, reading coach, teaching assistant principal, teacher trainer, and Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement (TESA) trainer, enhance my qualifications as an effective communicator via on-the-job interactions. As a parent engagement facilitator, I chaired meetings with parents and staff to prepare informational and training events for students, parents, and community members/leaders. Additional positions as a leadership team member, as well as Positive Behavioral Intervention and Strategies (PBIS) committee facilitator, afforded me opportunities to engage with community members in developing partnerships to access programs and other opportunities for students and parents.
My achievements include Teacher of the Year and Reading Teacher of the Year. Additionally, due to my exceptional knowledge, skills, and positive influence, I was honored to have a previous principal ask me to join her at her new school to become the facilitator for a new reading program.
3.) What do you believe are the most important qualities of a good school board member?
A good school board member is an influential person who is a conscientious observer and objective listener who is receptive to the needs of the constituents. A good school board member also knows and respects the difference between school board member duties versus superintendent duties. Overall, the school board member duties include working collaboratively with the other members to establish district policies that identify expectations, while the superintendent duties include managing the overall day-to-day operations of the district. With the overall welfare of all students as the paramount objective, a good school board member is willing to listen to his/her constituents (students, parents, community members, teachers, and all other employees) of the school division.
4.) If elected, what goals do you hope to achieve in the forthcoming term?
If elected, I will work cooperatively with other school board members to review and amend, as needed, the policies to support the SCPS division in the following ways: Expand courses/programs that allow all students to achieve intellectual and socio-emotional growth. Provide salary increases and hire additional highly qualified teachers and provide training to help other teachers acquire highly qualified status.
5.) Is there anything that has been said about you by your opponent or others during the campaign that you would like to directly counter or respond to in this space?
Rightfully so, I have only heard of positive things being said about me, my personality, and my qualifications for becoming a school board member. I respect the views of my constituents, those in and beyond the Northwest District of Southampton County, and I look forward to working with all other school board members to help Southampton County Public Schools become the elite district that it can be.