LOW MOOR — Jacob Wright of the Alleghany Highlands School Board has been elected as a regional chair for the Virginia School Boards Association.
Wright, the chair of the AHPS Board, was recently elected as chair of the VSBA’s Blue Ridge Region, which covers 17 school districts. The Blue Ridge Region includes the Alleghany Highlands, the Roanoke Valley, the New River Valley, and Southside Virginia. The VSBA has nine regions.
Wright was elected during the VSBA’s annual convention held Nov. 15-17 in Williamsburg. Dr. Cardell Patillo, who has served on the Portsmouth City School Board since 2015, was elected as president of the VSBA. David Woodard of Tazewell County School Board served as the past VSBA president. As chair of the Blue Ridge Region, Wright will serve on the VSBA’s Board of Directors.
“It is a great honor to have been elected to represent 17 school districts on the state board. In this role I will have the opportunity to stay at the forefront of advocacy for our students, staff and parents in the Alleghany Highlands and the Commonwealth as a whole,” Wright said.
Wright has been a school board member since 2013. He was originally appointed to the Alleghany County Public Schools Board on July 1, 2013, and served as vice chair from 2019-2020. He was named board chair in July 2020.
In 2022, Wright was appointed by the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors to the Alleghany Highlands School Board. Alleghany Highlands Public Schools was created by the July 1, 2022, merger of Alleghany Highlands Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. On July 1, 2022 he was named as the first-ever board chair of the joint school division.
Wright was highly instrumental in the development of an agreement that led to the creation of the consolidated school division. He was co-chairman of the Joint School Services Committee, which included representation from the Alleghany County School Board, the Covington City School Board, the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors, and Covington City Council. The merger agreement developed by the committee was approved by the four local governing bodies in September 2020 and the Virginia Board of Education in January 2021.
Wright worked with General Assembly members to have legislation passed as well as to obtain the $3.4 million in state funding to assist with aspects of the merger.
Most recently, Wright served as the Blue Ridge Region representative on the VSBA’s Legislative Committee. Based in Charlottesville, the VSBA is a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards. Through the VSBA, the school boards promote excellence in public education through leadership, advocacy, and services. The VSBA strongly advocates for local control of public schools.
“It is always wonderful to have someone from our area serving in a state-wide capacity,” said Kim Halterman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, leaders of Alleghany Highlands Public Schools. “This is a great way for the voice of our region to be heard around Virginia.”
AHPS has approximately 2,700 students and it is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington. AHPS news and events are regularly updated on Facebook at AHPublicSchool and on Instagram at ahpublicschools. Information is also available at www.ahps.k12.va.us.
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