ELECTION: Gloucester School Board candidates

- Posted on Nov 01, 2017 - 01:47 PM

Damien Kelly

Damien Kelly is vying with Brenda Mack for the at-large seat on the Gloucester County School Board presently held by Charles Records. Records chose not to seek a second term when his first ends on Dec. 31. 

A June graduate of Gloucester High School, Kelly now attends Thomas Nelson Community College and hopes to ultimately pursue a career in educational leadership. 

Kelly said having just graduated from GHS, he will bring a new perspective to a board whose members have not been in a school system for many years. 

“I’m a product of this (school division). I know a lot more about what goes on in the hallways and I understand how policies affect the kids first hand,” he said. 

Kelly said an underfunded school budget is one issue he sees, and he would like to see more hands on, collaborative work in the curriculum and better promoting of parental and community involvement in education. 

Kelly said the GHS administration needs to be held to a higher standard, especially when it comes to discipline, and that he would like to work toward improving the relationship between county supervisors and the school board. 

Brenda Mack

Brenda Mack is opposing Damien Kelly for the at-large seat on the Gloucester County School Board being vacated by Charles Records, who chose not to seek a second term.

Mack said she earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude with a major in business administration and a minor in health, and a master’s degree in education.

Mack worked for the University of Michigan and its Cancer Center, and was a trainer for Ross Medical Education Center and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. She also served 10 years as a board member for Enterprise Academy charter school in Michigan, a charter of Grand Valley State University.

Mack said her family has a rich history in Gloucester, and she relocated here in 2014. Her granddaughter attends Abingdon Elementary School. 

As a school board candidate, Mack said she is tenacious about improved teacher salaries and teacher diversity. She is concerned about losing good teachers to other school divisions due to low pay, and believes more diversity would better promote tolerance. 

“I’m willing to step up to the plate and I represent everybody,” Mack said. “I bring the experience, the background, and a passion for what’s needed and what’s right, and I look forward to serving our community,” she said.