Manassas Journal Messenger | Brooks seeks board seat

Former Manassas City School Board member Dora L. Brooks is hoping to regain her seat on the board.

Brooks is one of six candidates vying for three vacant seats on the School Board in the May 2 election.

Brooks, 59, was first appointed to the School Board in 1992. She served two years as an appointed member and was then elected to serve two more terms in 1994 and 1998. She later lost two bids to return to the board in 2002 and 2004.

“If I’m given the chance to return to the board, my priority is to build consensus among the board and reunite the community behind the focus of education, our children,” Brooks said. “I’m running solely for the purpose of improving and maintaining the good things we’ve done in Manassas City Public Schools for all children.”

Brooks said her previous experience on the board, as well as her 31 years of experience working in Fairfax County Public Schools, will serve her well on the board.

Brooks worked first as a teacher, and then as an assistant principal, principal and central office staff member in Fairfax County.

“I’ve sort of seen every phase of education,” she said.

Brooks said the school system is facing many of the same challenges now that it was the last time she served on the board.

One of those challenges is to attract and retain good teachers.

“We have to be very creative to think of ways to keep our staff on board,” Brooks said.

That concern has been amplified recently, as Manassas Park and Prince William County have both proposed starting salaries for next year that will exceed Manassas’ proposed starting salary for first-year teachers, Brooks said.

Another challenge is the growing student population in Manassas, especially the growing population of English as a Second Language students, she said.

“Our demographics have always been under constant change,” Brooks said. “But now the growing population has become a much more diverse population with its own unique needs.”

Brooks has lived in Manassas for 34 years with her husband, James. They have one adult daughter who graduated from Osbourn High School.

Candidates for Manassas City School Board are Brooks, Richard Bookwalter, Christine Finnie, Timothy Demeria, Curtis Wunderly and Edward Pratt.

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