The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
G.B. Washburn Jr.
Friday, June 14, 2013
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
G.B. Washburn Jr. will seek re-election to his fifth term as the Snow Creek District member of the Franklin County School Board in the November general election.
After 17 years on the school board, Washburn said he still has a passion for serving the county's children.
"We all want our lives to be of the highest quality possible. I strongly feel that an outstanding educational experience is paramount to achieving a life of quality," he said. "My tenure on the school board has allowed me to work with four superintendents and see over 8,000 students graduate."
"I have always worked hard to help make our county better and ensure that we are providing the best education to our students," he added. "I am always an advocate for positive learning and anyone helping our finest product in Franklin County -- the children. I want to continue helping Franklin County public schools be a cherished part of a quality life."
Washburn is a graduate of Franklin County High School and Virginia Tech. His wife and children, Krystal, Ashlee and Trey, are also products of the Franklin County public school system.
"I have spent most of my life in Franklin County and in the Snow Creek community," Washburn said. "I love our county and our residents. It is a wonderful place to live and work. I grew up on a family farm and continue to work with the farming community through my job with the Farm Service Agency."
Washburn is the executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Franklin County Farm Service Agency. He also serves on the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation Board of Directors and Franklin County Agriculture Development Board. Washburn also serves as an elder and lay worship leader at Snow Creek Christian Church.
Washburn has long been an advocate for sports programs in the county.
"For over 14 years, I coached recreational and travel league sports," he said. "I served on the Franklin County Recreational Advisory Commission for five years, the YMCA Board of Directors for two years, and I have served as an officer in several county based organizations."
Washburn said he is proud of the school division, its teachers and employees.
"Franklin County public schools do a wonderful job of providing a great education for our children and do so effectively, efficiently, and safely," he said. "Our schools are constantly ranked in the top 10 percent of Virginia schools, and the school system also competes extremely well nationally."
"School employees do a great job of preparing young adults to enter the next phase of their lives, whether it's the workplace or advanced educational institutions," Washburn added. "Our schools steadily work to improve classroom instruction and meet the ever-changing needs of the children and the communities. We are blessed with great families, great children and great employees."
Washburn remains focused on a quality education, which includes the learning environment, in the Snow Creek community, as well as the rest of the county.
"In the past 17 years, a new elementary school was opened in the county, plus every school in the county has received some type of addition and/or renovation to improve instruction and community usage," he said. "Structural improvements in the Snow Creek District include classroom additions to Sontag, Snow Creek and Henry; a new cafeteria at Henry; a new recreational field and a walking track at Snow Creek; plus there have been land purchases at Sontag and Snow Creek for future expansions and/or renovations."
Washburn said the school division works hard to be on the cutting edge of improved learning, which includes vision for the future with program expansion and implementation.
"Two educational areas that have been identified for improvement are Career/Technical programming and Alternative Education programming, which directly relates to high school graduation rates and employment opportunities for graduates," he said. "We must devote more resources to both of these areas in order for students to be job ready and to help further increase our graduation rates."
Overall, Washburn said his record of service shows his commitment to the children in Franklin County.
"I always try to make fair and reasonable decisions," he said. "Being one of eight members on the school board is often a challenge because it necessitates compromise and negotiations at which I am very experienced."
"I always support decisions of the School Board, but it does mean that you are on the losing side of an issue some of the time," he added.