Ownby, Matthews meet at Monday forum for W-JCC School Board seat

The forum will be at 6:30 Monday at the Stryker Center on Boundary Street in Williamsburg.

The final of three forums hosted by the League of Women Voters for this year's election cycle will feature two candidates vying for the open Powhatan District seat on the Williamsburg-James City County School Board.

Dot Matthews and Lisa Ownby will meet Monday evening and respond to questions from the moderator and from the audience about why they should be the one to replace board member Mary Minor.

Minor was appointed to the board after Joe Fuentes resigned in January, little less than two years before his term was set to end in December 2017. She had served on the board from 1998 to 2005, and stepped in earlier this year because the board was relatively young and she brought experience to the table.

At the time she was appointed, she joked she would fill the role as long as there was no redistricting, and no hiring of superintendents, both of which the board will be dealing with in the next year.

Whoever is elected will serve the remainder of his term.

A Williamsburg resident for 25 years, Ownby has sent four children through W-JCC schools; three are still there and one graduated. Ownby also threw her name in the ring for the Powhatan District seat earlier this year when the board was looking to temporarily appoint someone.

School equity, closing the achievement gap, teacher compensation and transparency are what motivated Ownby to run for the seat this fall, she said.

Matthews said she is running because she wants to be involved in the community and would add new skills and experience levels to the board from her career as a lawyer and financial analyst. Matthews moved to the area two years ago from New Jersey, but has owned her home in James City County for six.

The forum, co-sponsored by Citizens for Education and WJCC PTA Council, will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Stryker Center in Williamsburg. The event is open to the public, and the audience can submit questions via note cards at the forum.

Staff writer Ryan McKinnon contributed to this report.

Williams can be reached by phone at 757-298-5172.

Correction: An earlier version of this story did not list Citizens for Education and WJCC PTA Council as co-sponsors of the event.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
48°