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Lillie Jessie: ‘I am hoping that the new chairman understands the limitation of his or her power’

An email from Prince William County School Board Occoquan Representative Lillie Jessie: 

There has been much questioning and speculation about my plans to run for the Interim Chair position on the Prince William County School Board. This letter is designed to end those questions. I never applied to become Chairman and have no desire to seek that position now. I am first and foremost the representative for the Occoquan District until December 31, 2019.

It is important for the public to understand the process. First for the immediate appointment that will occur at the April 18th Board Meeting, only the seven current Board Members select the Interim Chair. If I were appointed as Interim Chair, I would have to give up my Occoquan seat and someone else would have to be appointed to it later. I would also give up my right to vote.

My purpose for being on this school board has always been to make a difference in the lives of students. This new “Title” would not improve achieving this goal. Let’s be clear the Chairman of a school board has no more power than other members. The only power he or she has is to preside over a meeting and finalize the agenda. There has been much confusion about the power of that position recently. The Chairman cannot make unilateral decisions related to the dismissal of personnel, modification of the budget, or the addition, modification and/or deletion of programs. I am hoping that the new Chairman understands the limitation of his or her power.

My greatest and most satisfying achievements have been in the changing the lives of students and “Being a voice for the voiceless.” Some even call me, “Miss Equity!” What an honor. It is a badge I will wear with pride. Schools in the eastern corridor and a few in the west lack equity in space, facilities and programs. During Wednesday night’s Mark Up budget meeting I was able to convince a majority of my colleagues to provide a safer football field for Woodbridge High School. This school was built in 1975. Their stadium as well as their practice fields are muddy and unusable most of that time. Students were being bussed to other more updated facilities to practice.

Other achievements that I spearheaded were moving the Nurses from a classified contract to Teacher level contracts They had been requesting this for at least 15 years. For the first time, Mrs. Loree Williams and I were able to convince our colleagues to put a student representative on the board. Students are actually filling the board room. These are the type of achievements that continue to fuel me. I will continue to support activities that allow me to achieve my moral purpose. I have often said, “We say it is about the kids but it never really is. It is usually about the adults!” I have been blessed in my life to know “Why” I chose to be on this board and it was always bigger than a title.

I will continue to support the Chairman as his or her Vice as I have in the past. I will always fight and fight hard for “Equity fueled by a need for Excellence.” It has been my honor to serve the students in Prince William County for more than 40 years. As I have told the Superintendent, when it comes to “World Class” performance, “We are not there yet!” I will be continue to be “consistently insistent and persistent “ in pursuit of that goal.

I am honored to serve.


Snow? Rain? Lots of uncertainty with upcoming storm

From the National Weather Service:

Your full forecast says to expect a wintry mix to snow Tuesday and Wednesday.

Crews cut a hole in the roof to fight the blaze

We’re hearing tonight about a housefire in Woodbridge that took place this weekend. 

From a press release: 

Woodbridge, VA March  16, 10:34 p.m. – Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Firefighters responded to the report of a townhouse 14900 Hyatt Place in Woodbridge. Crews arrived within minutes and reported smoke showing from the second floor of the townhouse.  

Crews entered thru the front door, attacking fire until it was determined they need to go defensive.  Crews evacuated and fought the fire from outside. Fire extended to the unit next door.  Crews accessed the roof of the origin unit and cut a hole in the roof to fight the fire. The fire was under control within 50 minutes.   

The blaze is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office.  Two families were displaced.  Red Cross was called for assistance. There was one minor injury to a firefighter Fire and Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, PWCDF&R, Dumfries VFD responded to the incident.

One killed in crash on Prince William Parkway

From Prince William police:

Fatal Crash Investigation – On March 18 at 2:28AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Prince William Parkway and Noble Pond Way in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a two-vehicle crash.

The investigation revealed a 2000 Honda Civic was traveling westbound on the Prince William Pkwy in the above area when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway, crossed the median, and struck a 2016 Lexus GX460 traveling eastbound on Prince William Pkwy.

Three occupants of the Lexus were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Honda, identified as a 23-year-old man, died at the scene. The identity of the deceased driver will be released upon notification of a next-of-kin.

The investigation continues.