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Election 2017
Literacy instructor enters county school board race
Mary McIntyre, 2017
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Photo courtesy of Mary McIntyre
Mary McIntyre, a literacy specialist at Agnor-Hurt Elementary, is running for the Rio District seat on the Albemarle County School Board.
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Josh Mandell | Wednesday, March 08, 2017 at 9:25 p.m.

Mary McIntyre, a literacy specialist at Agnor-Hurt Elementary, has submitted the paperwork declaring her candidacy for the Rio District seat on the Albemarle County School Board.

If elected, McIntyre said she would resign from her position at Agnor-Hurt before joining the board, as required by Virginia law.

“I feel like serving on the School Board would allow me to make a difference that goes beyond the students I am currently teaching,” she said.

Pam Moynihan, 59, a four-term incumbent representing the Rio District, has not yet announced if she will seek re-election. Moynihan could not be reached for comment.

McIntyre, 37, moved to Albemarle from Hawaii last summer with her husband and two children, who attend Woodbrook Elementary School. During her husband’s service in the Air Force, McIntyre taught at public schools in Newport News and Raleigh, North Carolina, and at a Department of Defense Dependent School in Germany.

McIntyre holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and the University of Michigan, respectively. She expects to receive another master’s degree in curriculum studies for literacy specialists from the University of Hawaii-Manoa in May.

As a School Board member, McIntyre said she would advocate for expanding Albemarle’s preschool programs, support multiage learning and other innovative pedagogy and evaluate redistricting options for schools in the county’s urban core.

“We need to make sure that redistricting is done in a way that listens to the community but also helps alleviate the overcrowding,” McIntyre said.

“We won’t be able to maintain our status as a top school system if we continue to have overcrowded classrooms.”

McIntyre will officially announce her candidacy at Northside Library at 1:30 p.m. March 15.

Two other Albemarle County School Board seats will be on the ballot in November.

Incumbent Kate Acuff is seeking a second term to represent the Jack Jouett District.

Acuff said she hopes to oversee the completion of school improvement projects funded by the 2016 bond referendum and continue participating in the county’s capacity planning and curriculum redesign for its high schools.

“We hope to have options by late fall about whether to build a new high school, or to do something about [capacity at] Albemarle High School and other schools,” Acuff said. “That will take a lot of work by the School Board and the Board of Supervisors … I would very much like to see that through.”

Incumbent Graham Paige is seeking re-election to the Samuel Miller District seat. Julian Waters, currently a senior at Western Albemarle High School, is challenging Paige.

Three of the seven seats on the Charlottesville School Board will be on the ballot in November.

Charlottesville School Board member Ned Michie announced in February that he will not seek another term. Michie was appointed to the board by the City Council in 2004, and was the leading vote-getter in the 2006, 2009 and 2013 when the city switched to an elected board.

No newcomers have announced plans to run for Michie’s seat.

Incumbents Leah Puryear and Juandiego Wade, both members since 2006, are running for their fourth terms, although they have not yet turned in the required paperwork.

Wade said he wants to continue to guide school modernization projects and enrichment programs.

“I want to see how those are going to look when they are done,” Wade said. “I want to be involved in the planning and see the end products.”

Puryear said she is excited about Charlottesville City Schools’ initiatives to improve literacy and school nutrition.

“Watching children grow helps me learn and stay grounded,” she said. “I want to continue working to make sure all students are prepared for life after high school.”

School Board member Amy Laufer is seeking a seat on the City Council in the Democratic primary June 13.

Laufer is in the middle of her second term on the School Board. If she wins a seat on the council, the School Board could appoint a new member to fill her seat until a special election is held.

School Board candidates have until June 13 to collect signatures and file paperwork to be on the general election ballot. School Board races are nonpartisan.
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