Danville Voters Hope New Board Members Will Bring Changes

Danville, VA - Two out of three of the Danville School Board seats up for grabs in Tuesday's election went to new candidates. Many say that is a big sign that voters and parents want change in Danville schools.We've been hearing complaints from parents for years about school closures, financial issues, and now problems within schools like OT Bonner Middle School. Parents say they are ready to see change.Kim Riddle is no stranger to Danville Public Schools. Between her four children, she's had kids in the school system for 14 years. But what's not familiar to Riddle are all the problems she says the schools now face."This year is probably the worst I've ever experienced with the administration change downtown, the superintendent change," said Riddle. Riddle's youngest will be finishing up 8th grade at OT Bonner Middle School this year. She's noticed things like school closures making class sizes bigger and lots of good teachers retiring, she says just to get out now."Bonner is rough right now, I'm glad that my student will be moving on," said Riddle. But she still has hope and so does newly elected school board member Steven Gould."My main goal is just to begin rebuilding that trust that we've lost the last few years," said Gould. First time candidate Gould received the greatest number of votes in the school board race."I think it shows that Danville voters want a more proactive school board. They want a school board that's going to be upfront about challenges," said Gould. He plans to increase communication and transparency. And he wants to focus on increasing office hours and make work sessions more accessible."We are going to shake things up a little bit," said Gould.Riddle tells us she voted for Gould, hoping he and the other board members will make a difference."My older three kids got an outstanding education at the Danville Public School system and I want that same opportunity for Daniel, my youngest," said Riddle.The other two open seats of this school board race went to incumbent Philip Campbell and another first-time candidate Sharon Dones. They will join the other 4 members on the board.
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