Home ‘Focus on good governance:’ Michele Edwards is running for Staunton City Council

‘Focus on good governance:’ Michele Edwards is running for Staunton City Council

Rebecca Barnabi
MIchele Edwards is running for Staunton City Council in November’s election. Photos by Rebecca J. Barnabi. 


Michele Edwards is knocking on doors Thursday morning.

She wants to get to know Staunton residents and their concerns.

Edwards is running for one of three seats on Staunton City Council in November’s election.

She grew up in Alexandria and moved to Staunton 20 years ago with her husband, Wally, who had grown up in a military family. She said he wanted roots somewhere. The couple drove down to Staunton “and just fell in love immediately both of us.”

A graduate of UVA, Edwards obtained a position teaching at Wilson High School and her husband worked remotely. Her degree is in French, then she obtained her teaching degree in special education.

The couple have two children, a son, 21, and daughter, 22.

This fall, Edwards begins her fourth year teaching English as a Second Language for adults at Massanutten Technical Center.

“I absolutely love it,” she said. Her students inspire and motivate her every day.

Staunton City Council is Edwards’ second run for elected office. She ran for House of Delegates in 2017.

If elected, she said she would advocate for the school board, especially during budget season, and focus on creating good jobs and continuing economic development in the city. She also supports workforce housing, so that residents can live in the city where they work.

“We need to have those types of jobs that can offer you a career path,” she said. Blue Ridge Community College provides the education for a career path and Staunton could provide the career positions for graduates.

She said that service jobs, such as working in retail and restaurants, are also important.

“I think economic opportunity is important.”

City council is at a crossroads, according to Edwards.

“We just need to focus on good governance,” she said. City council members need to discuss issues amicably and collaborate. “Because it’s not about me. It’s not about any of the other six. It’s about the 25,394 other people who live in Staunton,” Edwards said. Focusing on the residents and listening is what servant leadership is about. City council members should bring civility, openness and team work to the group dynamic.

“I want people to see me in the community and know who I am,” Edwards said. She wants residents to know that if she is elected, they can contact her. “Having a connection to local government demystifies the process.”

As she goes door-to-door campaigning for November’s election, Edwards said she hopes to continue connecting with Staunton residents, but also hopes to get elected.

“It is an honor [to serve on city council],” she said.

Election Day is Nov. 8, 2022. Early voting begins Sept. 23, 2022.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

Latest News

Baseball, Sports

Baseball: Virginia completes 3-0 weekend in Florida with 6-4 win over Auburn

Basketball, Sports

VCU overcomes sluggish first half, rallies past Saint Joseph’s, 73-69

VCU shot 72 percent in the second half to rally from a 27-21 halftime deficit on its way to a 73-69 win over Saint Joseph’s on Sunday at the Siegel Center.

preparing to bake a pie
Basketball, Sports

Scott German: How about that piece of Tony Bennett humble pie now?

After a dismal 76-60 loss at NC State in early January that saw Virginia fall to 2-2 in ACC play, I did the unthinkable, writing about the possibility of UVA coach Tony Bennett being near the finish line at his tenure in Charlottesville. 

coach mox
Basketball, Sports

Women’s Basketball: Virginia stuns #20 Louisville, 73-68, for third Top 25 win

uva bennett staff
Basketball, Sports

Bennett has the blueprint for how to fix his offense: He just doesn’t want to use it

ncaa tournament
Basketball, Sports

Metrics: Virginia continues to fall in computer rankings with another L

Cops & Courts, Virginia

Update: Virginia Tech student talks with authorities in Missouri, case considered closed