Richard Kennedy on Our Educational Challenges

Education creates the hope and foundation for our future.  A strong society cannot survive without a solid educational system, from pre-K through college.  Frederick County recognized long ago that building a strong school system requires a successful and future-minded leader, surrounded by a team of professionals who understand how to teach, motivate, and graduate our young people into society.  Dr. David Sovine was hired 10 years ago with a vision for Frederick County, and he has built a team that has taken this school system to levels never before achieved.  

Before coming to Frederick County, Dr. Sovine served 30 years in education, most notably as principal of Monacan High School in Chesterfield County – a school that was recognized for two consecutive years by Newsweek as one of the best public high schools in the nation.  As a teacher, he received the prestigious Sallie Mae Teacher Award as one of the top 100 new teachers nationally.  He has also served on numerous local, state, and national organizations and boards devoted to educational excellence.

In 2018, Dr. Sovine created Inspiration 2025, a strategic plan that:

1) promises every student a learning experience grounded in high expectations and tailored to inspire passion, so that all students can pursue their dreams and opportunities.

2) vows to create a learning organization where students and staff thrive in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment, so that students can become contributing citizens in our global society.

3) provides students and staff with meaningful, authentic learning experiences by cultivating partnerships with community members, organizations, and families.

4) commits to establishing FCPS as the preferred school community for individuals who are high-achieving and compassionate, and who are inspired and inspire others.

I recently had a conversation with Dr. Sovine, where we discussed the educational needs of our students, staff, and facilities.  He identified a very real concern that, in the next several years, Frederick County will experience a shortage of well-qualified teachers if the Board of Supervisors continues its to resist paying our teachers the compensation they deserve, commensurate with regional, state, and national teacher salaries.  Over the past several years, the Board has focused on teacher salaries as a point of contention when approving funds for the school budget.  If we lose the excellent teachers we have, the quality of education will suffer – to the detriment of our children.

In my next communication, I will offer some additional thoughts about our educational challenges in Frederick County.  If you share my concerns and my commitment to a quality educational system, I hope you will support my campaign to represent the Shawnee District on the Board of Supervisors.  I need your financial support (CLICK HERE), and I need the energies of volunteers (CLICK HERE) to help get our message to the voters of Frederick County.

PS:  Let’s continue keeping our school system and staff as strong as we can…for the future of Frederick County!    

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