Hirons Wants to Rethink Testing, Touts Close Bonds with Local Government, Schools
– September 30, 2013 11:00 am
- Website: scotthirons.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Scott-Hirons-for-School-Board/609798029047554
- Twitter: twitter.com/scotthirons
- Age: 41
- Political Party: Independent
- Running for: Stafford County School Board
- District: Falmouth
- Opponent: Mark Kitta
- Originally from: Woodbridge, Va.
- Profession: Professional Project Manager (1994-Present)
- Contractor for U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir (current)
- Education:George Mason University
- Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration (1994)
- University of Maryland University College
- Masters of Business Administration (2008)
- Family: Wife: Heather; Three sons: Christopher, 11, Conner, 10, and Max, 4.
- Military: Marine Corps Reserves (1990-1998)
Scott Hirons, candidate for the Falmouth seat on the Stafford County School Board, has been a professional project manager for over 19 years. He currently works as a contractor for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir.
Hirons says his leadership experience and educational background will make him a beneficial candidate for the school board.
“One of the things that government at all levels and especially the Stafford County School Board right now is lacking is good strategic management and that is what I hope to bring to the board,” says Hirons. “Without a strategic plan, we’re kind of throwing darts at the board and guessing what works best; we’re really not measuring what truly works best and then funding those priorities.”
Hirons lives in Leeland Station with his wife, Heather, and three sons, Christopher, 11, Conner, 10, and Max, 4, all who attend Stafford County Schools. Hirons says having school-age children and involvement within his community make him a valuable candidate for the school board.
“My youngest just started kindergarten, so I’m going to have a long time invested in the schools,” says Hirons. “Beyond that, I’ve been very active within my community. I have a good relationship with the Board of Supervisors and a good relationship with a lot of the county administration, and that is going to help.”
Hirons says that with strategic development, the board could adequately address educational issues and then adjust the budget.
“I hope to be able to better compensate teachers without having to do things like make massive cuts to the classrooms, which just increase class size,” he says, “There is a lot of debate over teacher pay and I want to see our salary scales move up and be more competitive.”
Hirons says he feels that the biggest challenge facing the schools is teacher gratitude.
“What I hear from the teachers an awful lot is they don’t feel appreciated and I think that’s very important,” he says. “We’re losing a lot of teachers to other jurisdictions that pay more, but also to jurisdictions that don’t pay as much.”
“We need to have a happy workforce and we need to be able to measure whether or not our workforce is satisfied.”
Hirons says that another challenge facing the schools is how to test performance.
“Right now the problem is that the state measures how a school is doing by a simple measurement of how the school is performing on standardized tests,” says Hirons. “We’ve gotten to the point in this country and state where we just can’t rely on standardized tests for everything.”
Instead he says we need to reassess the current measurements, and develop a plan to combat the underlying issues.
Hirons says there are significant connections between schools and traffic. In Stafford County, the hot button topic has been poor infrastructure. Hirons says a poor decision made by the school board can have consequences that can persist for years.
“There are some in the Falmouth area that advocated building a new high school on property the school system acquired several years ago know as Clift Farm,” says Hirons.
He said the land deal turned out to be a poor decision.
“The roads leading the property are narrow and not adequate for the traffic a school would generate.”
“We are growing and will still be building schools over the next decade,” says Hirons. “When we build schools, we need to ensure the roads we build them on are adequate to handle the traffic generated.”
Employment and Economic Development
Hirons hopes to encourage employment growth by means of supporting an adequate educational environment.
“A good school system is something companies look for when looking to relocate or build in a particular area,” says Hirons. “Therefore it’s the duty of the school board to build a strong school system to help the county build a strong case for the Board of Supervisors to attract new companies to the county.”