Home Focus | Taylor, Manevel throw hats into School Board ring

Focus | Taylor, Manevel throw hats into School Board ring


Story by Chris Graham
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The three-plus years that Kathe Maneval has spent on the Waynesboro School Board have been “very rewarding.”

“I really feel that we’re making a difference in the lives of children, and that’s what we’re here for,” said Maneval, who held a joint press conference with Jeremy Taylor as the two announced their candidacies for re-election to the Waynesboro School Board in the May 2010 elections.

Both have four children, backgrounds as professionals (Maneval in nonprofit management and accounting; Taylor in law) and experience predating their time on the School Board as volunteers in the Waynesboro School System.

Taylor, who represents Ward C on the Board, and is the Board’s chairman, is an instructional guy at heart.

“We’ve done a lot of wonderful things in terms of facilities and expanding the kind of stuff that we have in our division. But it all boils down to how we educate our children. And if we don’t do that, it doesn’t matter what else happens, what else we build, what else we try to create, all that,” Taylor said.

Taylor in his announcement speech talked about the School Board’s efforts to hire reading and math specialists to help push student achievement, the move to preserve and expand the gifted and talented program at Kate Collins Middle School and the ongoing struggle to preserve funding for city schools in the face of state and federal budget cuts.

“We have to constantly retrench. We think we’ve fallen back to a position where we’ve protected what is absolutely necessary, and we’ve funded that adequately, and then we sort of have to scramble around and make additional calculations. It requires a lot of flexible thought and quick response,” Taylor said.

Maneval, with her mindset from accounting, has her eyes on the financial ball.

“I have always taken a conservative approach to budgeting, whether it is at home, at work or with community organizations like Westwood’s PTO or Scouts,” Maneval said. “This approach ensures that we have the funds necessary to cover our expenses. I have also taken this same approach with the school division’s budget. I, along with my fellow School Board members, have scrutinized all of our expenses and have made changes to better utilize our limited resources. It is a balancing act that requires improving the delivery of instruction and student achievement, while decreasing the associated expenses.”

Taylor said he likes to think of instruction “as being beyond SOLs and No Child Left Behind,” which is hard to do in the era of mandates from on high.

“Education has a classical meaning. I think it’s the most important thing we can do for our kids. We’re given a sacred trust by families in our community that send their children to our schools. We have one shot at that, and that child is going to come out of our division pretty much educated for life. We cannot to fail in that mission,” Taylor said.

“There are a lot of things we have to think about. We have to think about money. We have to think about facilities. But to get back to the understanding of what it is we really do is refreshing and important, because everything has to have reference to that,” Taylor said.





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