School Board candidate seeks ‘path to a better world’

Published 9:17 pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

Each Sunday through Oct. 28, the Suffolk News-Herald will introduce you to the candidates for local School Board offices.

Today, we feature the candidate for the Nansemond borough, which has an open seat because of this year’s redistricting process. Judith Brooks Buck is the only candidate who filed to run.

The Sleepy Hole borough candidate will be featured on Oct. 21.

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Judith Brooks-Buck is alone in the quest to fill the Nansemond borough seat on the School Board.

“Investing in a child’s education is an effective path to a better world,” she wrote in an emailed response to questions. “The desire to provide a free public education for all children is a lofty American goal to which I am committed.”


Brooks-Buck holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and psychology from Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. She also holds a Master of Education degree in administration and supervision and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in educational policy studies, both from the University of Virginia.

She has more than 25 years of experience teaching and administering programs in four states and in Germany. She also has served as a housing authority commissioner, executive director of a family self-sufficiency program and assistant professor at Hampton University. She currently is a professor at Virginia State University and holds a Virginia superintendent license. She also has written on the topics of teaching remedial reading, bilingual education and educational policy.

Brooks-Buck said she supports a well-rounded education supported by parental and community involvement. She also is concerned about the “misuse and abuse” of standardized tests results and the pressure placed on children to do well on the tests, as well as “questionable science” that has been used to develop teacher and administrator evaluations.

“The most critical issue for me is providing the necessary resources for the children of Suffolk Public Schools to receive the best possible education,” she wrote.

She said she would work to achieve the goal by putting children first, working to establish spending priorities, ensuring that policymaking is informed by facts and advocating for the return of lost state revenue.

She said she will work “cooperatively with other School Board members and the superintendent to explore all legal, ethical and moral options that will contribute to the creation of a Suffolk City Schools brand that attracts the best students (and their families), and also attracts and retains superior faculty and staff members.”

Brooks-Buck said she believes the school division has many positive attributes and is on the right path to improving student achievement, graduation rates and other accreditation factors.

“Student performance, faculty and staff commitment and the constant push for excellence are evidenced in the activities and outcomes in Suffolk Public Schools,” she wrote. “My desire to work with the School Board in Suffolk is not the result of a criticism of the district. It is the result of a desire to join a team that is making a difference.”