Hazard: Investment in Public Education Good for Business Development
– October 15, 2013 12:47 pm
- Age: 48
- Political Party: Independent
- Running for: Stafford CountySchool Board (incumbent, 2012-present)
- District: Hartwood
- Opponent:Eric Herr
- Originally from: Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Profession: Attorney (over 20 years)
- Stafford County Law Practice
- Attorney, FAA/Dept. of Transportation
- Attorney, Private Practice in Wash, DC
- Education: University of Richmond
- Degree:Bachelor’s in political science and history (1987)
- Education: College of William and Mary
- Degree: Juris Doctor (1990)
- Family: Husband: Charlie; Two daughters: Helen, Charlotte
- Other: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Regatta Steering Committee
- Recent Stafford County Planning Commission Board Member
- PTO President, Margaret Brent Elementary School
- Local Counsel to Towering Concerns, grassroots effort to use underground powerlines in Stafford County
- Local Church Youth and Adult Leader
Holly Hazard, current incumbent of the Hartwood seat on the Stafford County School Board says her interest in the county and ensuring that students receive a good education is what motivates her to run for reelection in November. Hazard has two daughters who attend Stafford County Public Schools and is very involved in the schools in her community.
She says that being able to work locally and be visible and active in the schools is something that is valuable to the community and her role as a school board member.
“I believe part of a school member’s job is to be in the schools, active and visible and to promote the schools themselves, be a little bit of a cheerleader for the school system and for the students,” she says. “It gives you an insight of some of the challenges that are faced on a daily basis and how (the school board) can be helpful.”
Hazard is centering her campaign on areas such as prepping students for the future, retaining quality teachers, and school safety.
“It is important we make sure students have the best education that they can, especially with so much changing in the world and make sure our kids are able to be competitive in this environment,” she says. “We have some really great teachers and people involved in our education system. I think we also need to make sure that we recruit and maintain the best teachers and continue to build upon our success as a school district.”
Hazard says she has some concerns with the current methods on testing performance of schools.
“I understand that there needs to be some type of analysis on how schools are doing, but I believe any overemphasis on one area of test scores or certain things doesn’t give the whole picture,” she says. “I am very concerned, as many are, that we are teaching to a test.
I want to make sure that our students are very analytical and that they have the skills that they need in the world.
However, Hazard says that over all, Stafford ranks well when it comes to performance.
“We are one of 36 schools in the commonwealth that has gotten full accreditation. Only 27% of schools in commonwealth met that goal and we were one of them.”
Another area that Hazard is focused on is school safety and security. She says she is pleased with the initiative to add more resource officers to the school with the aid of a grant that was approved for the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.
“This year as we opened schools we had our resource officers very visible. I think it’s a wonderful piece that we’ve been able to add in conjunction with our sheriff,” she says. “Going forward I would like to explore whether a more permanent presence might be more available at our elementary school level.”
Hazard has been working as an attorney for over 20 years. She says her experience in her profession has helped her role as a school board member.
“One of the things an attorney is called is a counselor and I think that the desire to problem solve, think innovatively and try to consensus-build is an important attribute, because a school system is a people organization,” she says. Hazard says with over thousands of school employees and over 27,000 students and others involved in the school system, this is an important characteristic.
She says the effectiveness of a school system is important to outside factors as well, such as business development and the economy.
“A lot of times when business comes to potentially settle in Stafford County, one of the top things asked is ‘What are the quality of the schools?’ and we want to make sure that we can maintain that quality,” she says. “The best economic development is also an investment in our public education because these are going to be our students and our workers of tomorrow.”