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Prioritize School safety
Our schools do a great job of ensuring our children’s safety, but great isn’t good enough. A focus on school culture that supports mental health while increasing physical safety will lead to safer schools. The impact of Bullying has become more and more obvious. Our staff and students need to be better equipped to handle the acts of bullies, and our policies need to be better equipped to rid the schools of bullying behavior. I will work with the other members of the Board, Superintendent and members of the community to ensure that policies and resources are focused on ensuring that our schools, students, and staff experience an environment that continuously becomes a safer place to learn, develop, experiment, and express oneself while becoming less disruptive, less demeaning and less able to provide safety and security.
Ensure Early College and Career Preparedness
Too many students enter college focused on disciplines that are lowering in demand. A small amount of students have the benefit of participating in specialized academies or vocational programs. I have a deep interest in ensuring that every student have career preparatory opportunity in fields that will be robust and relevant for years to come.
Implement effective strategies to assess, support, and increase reading literacy and math proficiency.
When children are behind in reading or mathematics in the third grade, they generally stay behind for the rest of their academic life. It is imperative to implement strategies to continually assess, bolster, and remediate student’s reading and math abilities in all of the grade levels.
Provide a more equitable experience for all.
How do we support the students who would benefit from two years of instruction to become proficient in algebra without penalizing the student? How do we meet the needs of a student who might only be able to maintain emotional stability for four hours in a six-hour school day? How do we support the student who needs four weeks to master the content in a nine weeks course? Each student has a unique mixture of prior exposure, learning styles, instruction preferences, learning behaviors, processing speeds, and varying home environments. In addition, school staff’s effectiveness and abilities will change over time. Unfortunately, few options are available to students and staff as their needs and abilities change. Virginia Beach has a great school system, but great isn’t good enough. I will help our school board to better ensure that all students and staff have the most beneficial equitable experience possible.
Cultivate Deeper Partnerships with our Community
Toddlers learn to walk by being amongst others who are upright and walking. Chefs learn to cook while being around those who cook. Medical residents complete a rigorous experiential process to become doctors. Our community will benefit once we allow all of our students to have a “real world” experience within the school's walls. We can bring the bountiful opportunities of our community into our lunchrooms, classrooms, playgrounds, media centers, and into our lessons plans to ensure relevancy and preparedness. Deeper community partnerships will benefit our schools, our student, and our staff. Hampton Roads is pregnant with opportunities that can provide our students and staff alike with experience, insight, and foresight. Our community can also provide our school system with both tangible and intangible value. Our current partnerships are great, but great isn’t good enough. I will work to ensure that the dormant possibilities come to life.
I will work to ensure that our schools are safer, our outcomes are smarter, and our programs are stronger.
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ABOUT Seko Varner
Awards & Accolades
Having a heart for education since 1990, Seko Varner describes himself as an Edu-Tainer, which blends the terms, Educator and Entertainer. Seko follows a mission of improving the lives of others. He currently runs his entertainment firm, directs a youth mentorship program named The Golden Fold, volunteers with Green Run High School, and works as a One-Stop Operator for the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board.
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