Harrell hopes to win school board seat

By Angela Jones

A Patrick native with ambition to see things change for the better is seeking the Blue Ridge District seat for Patrick County Public Schools.

Shannon Harrell, who was born and raised in the Meadows of Dan area, said she decided to run when “I heard that the school district was considering outsourcing our bus drivers and possibly consolidating schools.”

Harrell said that she understood that Patrick County “has a budget and that some cuts may need to be made,” however the jobs in the area need to remain. “Working together for the benefit of our children, they are the future of tomorrow. I believe a strong education system ensures prosperity of our students and for our community. Small class sizes are crucial for a quality education. I want to help the board find creative ways to cut spending and ensure smaller teacher-student ratios, without cutting jobs,” she added.

For those positive changes to be made, Harrell said “more honest communication between the Board of Supervisors and the school board are needed; faculty and staff; and more public knowledge.” Communication can be done by using local and social media to full extent, she said, adding that technology is a great tool, but some individuals “are not computer savvy.”

Setting aside time for community events, and providing question and answer sessions for the community would also help keep the lines of communication open, said Harrell.

Harrell attended Meadows of Dan Elementary School and graduated from Patrick County High School. She earned a Master’s in Mathematics from Radford University.

Harrell currently works with the Piedmont Governor’s School and lives in Meadows of Dan with her husband, Dennis and their son. She also worked in the Patrick County High School for five years, and saw firsthand the benefits of a community-oriented school system.

Being a wife and mother has not stopped Harrell from being active in the community, she said. Harrell volunteered and worked with MODE students with math tutoring, the backpack program, and she has coached fourth through seventh grade girls’ basketball teams for the last five years.

Harrell said she would love to see “current students and families receive the same” opportunities for success that she has experienced.

Ronnie Terry, incumbent, has said he also will seek the post in the November election.

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