In anticipation of the upcoming election on November 7th, BTW has reached out to all Supervisor and School Board candidates to answer some questions about their candidacy. Today, we present the responses from Pamela Yeung, challenger in the Garrisonville School Board race (incumbent Chris Connelly is not seeking re-election.) We thank Ms. Yeung for her time!
BTW: Tell us about yourself
As a technology professional with a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a graduate degree in Information Technology from Johns Hopkins University, I currently work in the Information Technology and Healthcare industry providing solutions to improve health and wellness of the population. I speak multiple languages fluently including Spanish and Dutch. I am a mother of four; two recent UVA - Charlottesville graduates, a VCU graduate of nursing program, currently studying Anesthesiology at Duke University, and lastly, a senior at North Stafford High School. All coming through Stafford County public education in collaboration with dedicated hardworking teachers, that helped me in the education of my children. I continue to volunteer in the school system, attend school board and board of supervisors’ meetings.
My past community involvement includes Treasurer and Board member of REACH, a Fairfax County supported program which serves the disabled, poor and homeless (2012 – 2017), Vice chair of the Technology Advisory committee to the School board in Stafford Virginia (2010- 2013) and present honorary member, Member of Stafford County Capital Improvements Planning Committee (2014-2015), Member of Finance and Budget committee (2014-2015) and 1st Chair Stafford Democratic Committee, (2012).
Currently, I volunteer to the Stafford County Telecommunications Committee since 2013, appointed by the Board of Supervisors to advise the Board on local infrastructure issues. I serve Stafford County families to ensure all students have access to cable television, telecommunications and wireless broadband services. I recently partnered with Cox and Comcast to provide information about a program that offers families whom student qualifies for free lunch, an opportunity to receive WIFI and computers at a discounted price. My goal is to support the teachers by increasing students access to WIFI so that they can do their homework at home. I can make a greater impact as a school board member working with the Board of Supervisors and the community.
BTW: What drove your decision to enter the School Board race?
I believe that all students have equal value. I want dedication for all students’ education, improvement of relations between community, teachers and board of supervisors. School Board members should be transparent in preparation for school budget and vote to keep our precious resources by supporting the budget for teachers pay. My mission is to bring business and technology experience, decision making skills, diversity and trust to the Stafford County School Board. I believe I can accomplish more as a School Board member and equal the playing field for all students ensuring that all have the same opportunity to succeed.
BTW: What differentiates you from the incumbent (or other challenger) in your race? What, if any, mistakes do you think the incumbent or the board in general has made that you would not have?
There needs to be a level of trust and transparency and willingness to work with other School Board members, Board of Supervisors and the community for the well being of the students. My goal is to bring business and technology experience, decision making skills, diversity, trust and a dedication to education to the Stafford County School Board. I am not running against anyone so I am not comparing myself to my challenger. I am running for School Board to make a difference in the educational lives of our Stafford students, and will be fair in addressing issues presented to me as a school board member.
BTW: What skills do you bring to the table that make you a particularly excellent choice for the job?
I believe I am the right person for this job because of my experience in volunteerism in Stafford County Public (SCPS) system, my experiences as a mother raising for children through SCPS, my business, technical background as well as my ability to speak different languages, my world experiences and my dedication to education. My past volunteer experiences include Treasurer and Board member of REACH, a Fairfax County supported program which serves the disabled, poor and homeless. (2012 – 2017), Vice chair of the Technology Advisory committee to the School board in Stafford Virginia (2010- 2013) and present honorary member, Member of Stafford County Capital Improvements Planning Committee (2014-2015), Member of Finance and Budget committee (2014-2015) and 1st Chair Stafford Democratic Committee, (2012).
I pledge to my community, to continue to be a leader of tomorrow through cooperation with parents, educators, business leaders and citizens. These are critical times for public education fraught with challenges. I find satisfaction in energetically confronting tough challenges and working together to overcome them. Bringing valuable attributes to this position, such as being a consensus builder, a community participant, a volunteer, a decision maker, an effective communicator, a leader, a team player and a good listener.
BTW: What are the most pressing issues you feel face SCPS?
How to fund education community partnership
Program to recruit new teachers, plans to protect valuable resources through benefits and Educational compensation packages
BTW: If elected, how do you plan to address the issues from the previous question?
I will work hard to support the decisions as a member of the School Board that are in the best interest of the students, teachers and the community. I plan to support staff compensation and the budget for teachers pay. With deliberation of the other School Board members and the division superintendent, as a member of the School Board, I will study and prepare for the budget prior to presentation to the Board of Supervisors. The School Board and the Board of Supervisors need to work together to protect our resources and continue to promote excellence of Stafford county’s education.
BTW: The relationship between the Board of Supervisors and the School Board has long been a rocky one. Are you willing to work hand in hand with the Board of Supervisors to deal with the problems facing our county?
Yes, I attend board meetings with the intend to bridge the gaps between the boards, the schools and the community. I am very proud of the creation of an initiative between the Telecommunication commission, the SCPS and the community. As a current member of the Telecommunications board (TCC) the initiative was to get the word out to Stafford County students about discounted Comcast and Cox broadband opportunities for the underserved students. Having broadband service at home is crucial in helping all students to learn effectively. Providing broadband to students enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program will significantly contribute to those student’s ability to complete their homework and an opportunity to receive the best education possible.
Thank you so much for answering BTW's questions, Ms. Yeung! If you would like to contact Pamela Yeung or learn more about her, you can do so by visiting her website at PamelaYeung4SchoolBoard.com or on her Facebook page.