PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Page Valley News will be publishing profiles of local candidates in contested races for this fall’s elections over the next few weeks. PVN will begin with the Luray Council race, where five candidates will compete for three seats; then the race for Mayor of Luray, with two candidates; and the chairman of the Page County School Board, with two candidates. All profiles will be published in alphabetical order at 9 a.m. Mondays and 3 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Thursday, June 25.
Jason Scott Breeden
• Age: 50
• Education: AAS., Transfer, Blue Ridge Community College, 1997; B.S., Sociology/Early Childhood Education, James Madison University, 1999; M.Ed, K-12 Education Administration, Shenandoah University, 2004; EdS., K-12 Reading Education, University of Virginia.
• Work: PK Teacher, Newport News Public Schools, 2000-2001; Kindergarten Teacher, Newport News Public Schools, 2001-2002; K-2 Technology Teacher, Shenandoah County Public Schools, 2002-2004; Standards of Learning Specialist, Westmoreland County Public Schools, 2004-2007; Division-Level Support Coordinator, Virginia Department of Education, Office of School Improvement, 2007-2008; Executive Director of Administrative Services, Westmoreland County Public Schools, 2008-2013; Assistant Principal, Page County Public Schools, 2013-2014; PK Supervisor, Page County Public Schools, 2014-2015.
Division Review Team Member, AdvancEd, 2003-2008; Vice Chairman Division Review Team, AdvancEd, 2008; Chairman Division Review Team, AdvancEd, 2010.
• Training: Library of Virginia – Record Officer; Virginia Department of Education – School Nutrition Directors’ Academy; PowerSchool University – PowerSchool (student information system); Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) – Board Policy.
• Elected office: Treasurer, 1996-1997; Vice President, 1996-1997; President, 1997-1999, James Madison University Education Association.
• Why are you running for public office?
I want to make a difference in the school system by working collaboratively with the other members of the Board, the superintendent, the school administration, the teachers, the staff, the students, the parents, the local governments and our community.
• What makes you the best candidate?
With my extensive background in different levels of public K-12 education, I can contribute a unique perspective as a team member with the goal of leading the Page County Public Schools to excellence.
• What is most pressing issue for Page County Public Schools?
The most pressing issue now is how to provide a quality education to students while being safe for all students, teachers, and staff. I also think that the lack of high-speed internet capacity for all our students will limit the quality of education the teachers can provide during these uncertain times and in the future.
• What is one thing that you would like to change or improve about the local school division?
The school system/division is not about “me” and what “I” would change, it is about what is BEST for the students. There are many issues facing the school system that need to be looked at in depth and then addressing how to resolve those issues as a team. Not just one person can change/improve anything in a school system, a business, or in a community; it takes working together as a team to make improvements of any lasting kind. However, I believe one issue that needs to be addressed by a team approach is that of staff morale. I know that with high staff morale, more can be achieved and student performance is higher.
• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.
While in Westmoreland County Public Schools, I was given the task of getting all four of the schools fully accredited by the state. I knew that I could not do it alone, so I modeled a lead teacher program from Shenandoah County Public Schools and implemented it with a different scope. The lead teacher program had a representing teacher from each school in each subject (math, English, science, social studies, reading, technology). The lead teacher program was given a few tasks to work on from curriculum pacing guides for each subject at each grade level or subject area in the secondary schools, development of benchmark questions for the benchmark test bank, curriculum alignment for each subject based on the curriculum frameworks from the state and analyzing testing data (Standards of Learning Assessments, Benchmarks, Gates-MacGinitie Reading, Algebra Readiness). The lead teacher program was a great success. All four schools were fully state accredited within two years and all tasks were completed and were implemented by the team of teachers. I knew with a task as big as getting all schools fully state accredited quickly, there needed to be a team approach and that is why I made that decision.