Hinton hopes to regain a seat

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thelma Hinton is a candidate for Suffolk’s School Board, and she is running for a seat in the Suffolk Borough.

Hinton is a long-time Suffolk resident, and she was a member of the Suffolk School Board from 2009 to 2012. She also served as vice chair from 2011 to 2012.

Hinton wants to rejoin the School Board because she sees a need for change and believes that she can do the job well.

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“I am running because I see a need, and I am running because my constituents have asked me to come back,” Hinton said. “I felt that I had done an outstanding job when I was previously on the School Board, and I want to do this for the children in my community.”

While Hinton has many concerns regarding Suffolk Public Schools, her biggest concerns focus on the accreditation of Title I schools and saving money by entering into an energy performance contract.

“Children who are living below the poverty line struggle in comparison to their counterparts at other schools in regards to technology,” Hinton said. “These students don’t have technology in their homes like other students around them.”

Hinton believes that having increased availability of technology can help these students, but she also believes that better parent involvement and a more adequate rezoning plan can help alleviate the achievement gap as well.

“We need to do better and mix our children up. If you keep it the same, you will get the same results,” Hinton said. “Along with rezoning, I feel that more parental involvement and having additional teacher’s assistants can help with the children.”

The School Board voted against an energy performance contract in April, and Hinton hopes that they can revisit the idea as soon as possible. The concept allows government entities to install energy-saving appliances and other upgrades and save money at the same time.

“It is very important. We have a lot of older schools that are in bad condition, and they are being left behind,” Hinton said. “I felt that if we would have taken advantage of this, then we could have had some things going with our aging buildings.”

Hinton believes her experience with the School Board and other local organizations — Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Suffolk Health Department and the Virginia Legal Aid Board — gives her the qualifications to be a successful School Board member.

“I am the most qualified candidate in the borough,” Hinton said. “My compassion, my know-how and my 20 years of experience on various boards have positioned me to know the local government in the city of Suffolk.

“I know the community, and I know the city of Suffolk.”