I’ve had so many opportunities to speak and teach at various churches, schools and community organizations over the years (both public and private), with a vast majority of those being centered around future generations in Fauquier County. As a former youth pastor and current law-enforcement officer, I know how important it is to set our youth up for success and engage them in positive and encouraging ways.   

It is for those reasons I humbly (and with great excitement) endorse Susan Pauling for Fauquier County School Board, Center District. As a parent of two children with futures in the Fauquier County school system, Mrs. Pauling’s attitude, demeanor, empathy and passionate resolve for the success of our students are all attributes that I would trust and hope for in someone that would be placed in education leadership.   

Many of my personal friends and family have been quick to seek counsel with Susan and her husband Phillip, as they have always been willing to coach or provide wisdom to many young couples in our area preparing for marriage and/or growing a family. If you’ve never met any of Mrs. Pauling’s children, I encourage you to do so, as they are an exact reflection of the love and care that their parents show to everyone on a daily basis. With a family-first mentality, I’ve seen, firsthand, Mrs. Pauling’s selfless love and concern for those around her -- especially those that currently serve in the school system as a teacher, admin or support staff (many of whom are my personal friends and family).  

Mrs. Pauling’s current involvement in the school system is second to none and I’ve always enjoyed watching the way Mrs. Pauling works with others to achieve a common goal. I am inspired by her willingness to always educate herself on matters that would provide her with the best chance to make informed decisions. Likewise, Mrs. Pauling is always willing to humbly listen to the ideas of others with an open mind and I ultimately believe that she will only make decisions regarding our schools with integrity and honor; so that our children, as well as teachers and staff can succeed in the best ways possible.   

Christopher Campbell 

Bealeton 

(12) comments

JimNecci

And yet Ms. Pauling has a reputation of being arrogant and condescending. Shelly is the best choice.

LindaW

Shelly Norden is not running against Ms. Pauling, they are in different districts.

TheVAWolff

I have many criticisms with this opinion piece. Susan Pauling may be a mom with kids in the school system, but does that give her any qualifications to make decisions that affect thousands of kids? Does that give her any qualifications to impact the spending of millions of dollars? This letter boils down to Susan being a great person, and she very well may be. But do we really need to elect somebody just because they are a "Great person". Let's get real here. Her opponent, from what I have read in Fauquier Times and Facebook, is far more qualified than her with a solid mental health background. We need someone who is willing to stand-up to administration, not a "yes woman". I don't mean this to come off as inflammatory, but this letter doesn't lay out a single thing that Susan would do for Fauquier County or it's students.

Comment deleted.
TheVAWolff

I'm the same twitter user who is located in Scott. Voting for Suzanne, not sure about Mike and am big against Shelly. It's wrong to attack a candidate and I was nothing but respectful and bringing up my concerns. Might not be my district, but it's 1/5 of the board.

sshrader

Hi VA Wolf, hope u don't mind my asking why u plan to vote for Suzanne? I have read your tweets in the past and thought maybe you were leaning towards Mike. Although I plan to vote for mike I am very interested in knowing what others like in the various candidates.

Sammy

Torn between incumbent Suzanne and challenger Mike but more likely to support Suzanne for stability and past good service. Mike brings energy and enthusiasm to a task that needs it -- would like to bottle that and keep it around regardless of outcome. No interest in Shelly Norden at all, seems ill-suited to the board.

TheVAWolff

I think that people are afraid of change and those people will vote for Suzanne. Those who want change will most likely vote for Shelly over Mike so unfortunately Suzanne seems like the safe choice to avoid Shelly.

JBH

Valid question. Don't see any mention of her qualifications, her relevant experience , her education. That is actually very important.

TheVAWolff

That's my biggest issue. Other candidates have had letters that talk about their qualifications and experience and how it would impact their lives or their families lives.

Macaria

As a parent with children in the schools, I feel that Susan is beyond qualified. In my opinion, the first qualification is having experience as a parent or as an educator in Fauquier County Schools. When you have 4 children in a school system for 13+ years you learn a lot about the schools. Of course, not everyone who has kids in FCPS would be a good school board member. Susan is known for working well with others. It may sound like a given, but many people do not have the ability to do that. She has a Bachelors degree. She is president of the PTO. She is also an excellent communicator both in writing and verbally, which will serve her well as an advocate for our children. Her opponent is simply too young and inexperienced. Rachel has the potential to be a good school board member in the future, but not at 25 or 26 years old and has just barely gotten her feet wet in her chosen career. If you compare the two candidate, it’s pretty obvious Susan is most qualified.

Macaria

Let’s be real VaWolff....Rachel Bongiovi is not a mental health expert. She has a Bachelor’s degree and a few years of work experience...far from an expert. Susan Pauling is a strong and outspoken (and well spoken) woman who will stand up for what is best for our children and for what is right. What exactly do you think are good qualifications for a school board member? I think that being a good and involved parent to 4 children who are in FCPS is an excellent start. You may as well have said “she’s just a mom”. So insulting to moms. She is also the president of the PTO and has a reputation for being easy to work with. To be blunt,she is very intelligent and has excellent interpersonal skills combined with valuable life experience. Her opponent Rachel Bongiovi is a nice young woman who is just starting out in life. She, like most young people have a lot to learn and the place to learn is not on the school board. Susan is a gem, and Center District and FCPS School Board would be lucky to have her.

TheVAWolff

So did you just make up that Rachel said she was an expert or no...because from what I've looked into, that's not the case. Let's be real....as you said. You're backing Susan because she's your friend, she shares your conservative/Christian views, and is supported by your favorite Republicans. Nobody is saying Susan is "just a mom" that's not the case at all. Mom's are strong and powerful, I am one. I'm a working mom and I try to give my kids everything, I know what that takes. Qualifications should include: knowledge of where kids are struggling in schools, knowledge of difficulties obtaining IEPs and 504s (Remember, Susan has had nothing but terrific experiences in this area), the ability to answer the tough questions which Ms. Pauling likes to dance around when asked by her constituents, and some sort of firm idea of what she wants to do on the school board. Ms. Pauling has raised ZERO plans on what she wants to do except for increasing communication (no brainer there), finalize the middle school project (no idea what she thinks should happen there just wants it to be done), compensate teachers fairly (literally every candidate has said this), re-evaluate BYOD policy (thought maybe she was against this until she seemed to be one of the only candidates who didn't say ban them during her forum). That's her platform and it brings nothing but the same old same old to Fauquier. Here's your source: https://www.susanforschoolboard.com/about

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