A Jamestown High School teacher filed to run against former School Board chairman Jim Kelly in his home district, Jamestown.
Danon Middleton, a high school English teacher and Air Force veteran, turned his petition to run against the Williamsburg-James City County School Board incumbent June 7, James City County Voter Registrar Dianna Moorman said.
Kelly filed his paperwork for re-election April 20.
“I know Jim has been in the seat for about eight years, and I’ve been in the classroom for just as long, and I think that makes me a bit more qualified,” Middleton said. “More importantly, I’m not afraid to ask tough questions and make tough decisions.”
Middleton will be on the ballot Nov. 7 as an independent — School Board candidates aren't allowed to run as part of a political party. The last day to file for a School Board seat is the same day as Virginia primary elections, which is Tuesday, June 13.
Moorman said her office will be accepting petitions, which require 125 signatures or more from qualified voters in the candidate’s district, until 7 p.m. She said before turning in his paperwork, Middleton was aware of a rule preventing W-JCC employees from serving on the School Board.
“He had done his homework,” Moorman said. “His contract is up in August, and he has employment elsewhere when the election is held.”
Middleton said he will be teaching in Newport News. He wouldn’t say where because some details aren’t finalized.
He’s running for the seat because he said teachers are under-appreciated and administrators are not being held accountable.
“The administration is tone deaf from everything to zoning to bullying to attendance,” Middleton said he heard from people while collecting signatures. “There’s a lot of frustration out there.”
Prioritizing spending is part of Middleton’s platform. He said he wants to ensure schools’ budgets favor teachers and classrooms rather than the administration.
“Teachers need a voice, families in the community need an ear and we need to prioritize spending,” Middleton said. “One out of seven can have an impact, and that’s what I would focus on.”
Middleton has taught in Hampton and Williamsburg for the past eight years. He has a Master’s of Arts from George Washington University and Master’s of Business Administration from Liberty University.
He lives with his wife and four children near New Town.
Williams can be reached by phone at 757-345-2341.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/MiddletonForWJCC.