PCPS announces names of applicants for District 1 school board seat, public hearing set for Oct. 27

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~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Oct. 14 — On Friday afternoon, Page County Public Schools announced the names of six individuals that have submitted applications and resumes by the 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday to fill the District 1 seat on the Page County School Board vacated by the Sept. 22 death of Tommy Lansberry.

During Thursday night’s work session, members of the school board discussed eliminating one or more of the severn applications received for the position due to not following submission guidelines. The final list of applicants made public by the school division on Friday includes:

  • Taylor Alger
  • Jennifer Carter
  • Heather Embrey
  • Michael Montgomery
  • Billy Starkey
  • Pam Walker

The school board will hold a public hearing on filling the District 1 seat at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27 at the school system’s Central Office, 735 W. Main St., Luray. During the public hearing, the Board will “receive the views of citizens within Page County relative to the qualifications of persons who should be considered to fill the position and specific candidates.”

Under Virginia Code, the school board must fill the District 1 seat with an interim appointee by Monday, Nov. 7. The appointee will serve through Dec. 31, 2023. A special election will be held next November to fill the District 1 seat for the remainder of the term through Dec. 31, 2025.

The official process requires the school system to petition the Page County Circuit Court to order a Writ of Special Election for the Nov. 7, 2023 special election to fill the remainder of the four-year term.

“The recent passing of District 1 School Board member, Mr. Tommy Lansberry, has saddened us all and left a vacancy on the Board,” reads an Oct. 6 letter from PCPS superintendent, Dr. Antonia Fox, to faculty, staff and families. “We remain grateful to Mr. Lansberry for his service to our students, school division, and community, and extend a warm thank you to his family for sharing him with us during his time of service.”

The former bus mechanic and substitute bus driver retired after 25 years of service to the local school division in 2016. The year after his retirement, Lansberry ran for the District 1 seat on the school board and won a two-way race in 2017. He won an uncontested race with 1,448 votes last November and returned in January for a second, four-year term.

Lansberry was less than nine months into his second term when he passed at age 76 after an extended battle with an inoperable brain tumor. The School Board publicly announced Lansberry’s health issues in June after a noticeable, extended absence.

The school board plans to name an appointee for the seat no later than Monday, Nov. 7. Interviews will be conducted between Friday, Oct. 14 and Wednesday, Oct. 26. Applicant names will be announced prior to the Oct. 27 public hearing.

Once a new appointment is made, it will be retroactive as of Sept. 22.

For further information or questions, call the PCPS Central Office at (540) 743-6533

or visit https://www.pagecounty.k12.va.us/

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