Anna Weddle issued an announcement this week about her run for the Amsterdam Election District seat on the Botetourt County School Board.
She noted she is a lifelong resident of Botetourt and graduated from James River High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from James Madison University and then a Master’s of Education degree in Health Promotion from Virginia Tech.
“My husband, Chris, and I have two daughters attending Greenfield Elementary which allows me to interact daily with other parents and share their stories of excitement and concerns regarding the Botetourt County Public School system,” Weddle said in her announcement. “I am in a prime position to be an advocate for students and parents alike. I volunteer often at school and am privileged to hear from both teachers and parents.”
She said, “Building a relationship with parents and students in the Amsterdam District is crucial to understanding and representing educational concerns of the community. Botetourt County is expecting many changes and significant growth in the immediate future. Building a partnership with the school administration and educators and the parents is also a key priority for me so that we can all promote continued success of our schools.”
Weddle has been the president of the board of directors at Fincastle Preschool for three years and is treasurer-elect for the upcoming year.
“While at a much smaller scale, this has provided me with applicable experience in planning and managing school budgets,” she said. “I have learned that it is critical for teachers to have their needs met while also balancing student needs and school maintenance.
“I want to make sure that Botetourt County is a desired teaching location so that we recruit and retain teachers of the highest quality. That can only be done with competitive salaries and quality facilities.”
In her announcement, Weddle said, “Botetourt County is at a pivotal moment in its history. Hundreds of new jobs are coming to the area, the Amsterdam District in particular. I am concerned about our school system being able to handle the new influx of students.
“Many of our buildings are dated and at capacity. The School Board and Board of Supervisors must work in harmony to establish an infrastructure that not only meets Botetourt’s near-term needs, but frames the county for decades of success,” Weddle continued. “Planning for the future of school localities and understanding the recruitment plan for new teachers is a priority of mine.”
Weddle said the school division has implemented many new programs recently such as Science Technology Engineering and Math-Health (STEM-H) and Continuing Technical Education (CTE).
“But it’s time to expand on those,” she continued. “One example is offering EMT and Firefighter classes through the CTE program. The county is constantly searching for new Emergency Medical System personnel and volunteers. It makes sense to train our own students for the job.”
She said the county budgets approximately $12,000 per year to educate each child. “Every student is an individual investment by the county, and we should work towards getting a return on that investment by encouraging students to work and live in the county.”
In her announcement she said, “Botetourt County is unique in that we have so many opportunities for learning outdoors, in convenient locations very near our schools. I plan to work with the administration to plan programs that take advantage of our extraordinary geography and utilize partnerships already in place with local businesses to implement more outdoor classrooms. These dynamic opportunities provide valuable diversity to benefit all students’ education.
“Our school system is in a good position. However, it is time to build on that base,” Weddle said. “We need to think about the future to avoid being surpassed by other districts in the region. A vote for Anna is a vote for the Future.”