Riddick runs for board

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tyron Riddick is a candidate for Suffolk’s School Board, and he is running for a seat in the Suffolk Borough.

Riddick is a Suffolk native and currently works as a corrections officer for the Virginia Department of Corrections, a substitute bus driver for Suffolk Public Schools and is the chief executive officer for Straighten Up and Fly Right.

Running for a seat on Suffolk’s School Board was never Riddick’s intention, but with some nudging from students he mentors, he decided to put his name on the ballot.

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“It was not my goal to do any of this,” Riddick said. “I decided to run because our kids can’t wait. Working with youth, you see statistics that people talk about, and I see it firsthand. In addition to fighting with grassroots organizations, I want our policy to change.”

Riddick believes that the Suffolk school division already has a plan and a vision that will work for its students, but he believes that the school division’s failures are because it has not followed the plan.

“The policy is already there, and you have to stick to it,” Riddick said. “If we stick to the blueprint that is laid out, we would have a good school division.”

Part of the blueprint that Riddick believes has fallen to the wayside is supporting its staff.

Riddick believes that the teachers and support personnel — such as cafeteria workers, bus drivers and teacher assistants — aren’t being supported by the division. He wants to see an increase in salary not just for teachers but also for support staff.

“We definitely aren’t the worst school division in the region, but we aren’t the best in the region,” Riddick said. “If we would follow the plan that we have in place now, we would be better.”

To become the best school division in the region for Riddick means having a more transparent and accountable School Board and school administration. He believes that better transparency will lead to a better relationship with teachers, parents and other staff.

“Say what you mean and mean what you say,” Riddick said. “You can’t make decisions behind closed doors with taxpayer dollars.”

Riddick is active in his community, and that is why he believes that he is best qualified to fill the seat on the School Board.

“I’m already doing the work in the community, and I’m asking the Suffolk Borough to increase my level of responsibility,” Riddick said. “I’m the in-touch candidate, and I make my decisions with my experience and with data. I bring a different viewpoint and different ideas to the table.”