On Tuesday, January 25, the Heritage High School Steering Committee conducted a press conference to release information concerning its progress to date and to formally announce the names of the individuals who have agreed to serve on the Task Force.
“Over the past few months, the Steering Committee has worked diligently to begin the community discussion that was essential as we attempt to identify options and issues concerning Heritage High School and the future of secondary education,” said Committee Chair Dr. Michael Gillette. “Our next step was to create a Task Force to guide the process moving forward.”
In addition to the members of the Steering Committee, the Task Force will be comprised of the chairs of five subcommittees along with two at-large members. The subcommittees are Facilities, Education Plan, Extracurricular Activities, and Community Impact. “Our plan is to develop a charge for the subcommittees and give them the spring to complete their work,” said Gillette. The Task Force will then meet over the summer to analyze the data and produce an exhaustive analysis of options to the School Board.
It is expected that the School Board will take the fall to process the Task Force report and come to its own decision about how to proceed which would include delivering its decision to City Council for consideration.
Joining Michael Gillette, Steering Committee Chairperson and City Council Member and Al Billingsly, Steering Committee Vice Chairperson and School Board Member are Dr. Roger Jones, Educational Plan Subcommittee Chairperson; Dr. Jim Mundy, Facilities Subcommittee Chairperson; Ms. Jenny Poore, Extracurricular Activities Subcommittee Chairperson; Mr. Lyle Schweitzer, Finance Subcommittee Chairperson; Dr. Sally Selden, Community Impact Subcommittee Chairperson; and At Large members Mr. Turner Perrow, Mr. Charlie White, Ms. Ingrid Hamlette, and Mr. Robert Miller.
“We have been fortunate to be able to assemble an exceptionally strong team, and I look forward to working with everyone. We will soon begin the work of asking individuals to serve on each of the five subcommittees, so there continues to be ample opportunity for citizen involvement,” said Steering Committee Vice Chairperson, Al Billingsly.
HERITAGE HIGH SCHOOL TASK FORCE MEMBERS
• Dr. Michael Gillette, Chair, Lynchburg City Council - Dr. Gillette came to Lynchburg to accept a teaching position at Randolph-Macon Woman's College where he rose to the level of Associate Professor and was awarded tenure. Currently, he is President of his own medical ethics consulting business, Bioethical Services of Virginia, Inc. and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has served on City Council since 2004.
• Mr. Al Billingsly, Vice Chair - Mr. Billingsley was an engineer at BWXT for 21 years before taking early retirement. He is currently an independent insurance agent and has served on the Lynchburg City School Board for six and one-half years. While serving on the school board, he has been the city's representative on the Central Virginia Governor's School governing board and served on the Athletic Field Task Force, a joint effort between the Lynchburg School Board and City Council to address the need for more athletic fields in the city.
• Dr. Roger Jones, Educational Plan Subcommittee Chairperson – Dr. Jones is a Professor and Chair of Leadership Studies at Lynchburg College where he also directs the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP) Center for Educational Leadership. Prior to joining the LC faculty, he spent 32 years with the Lynchburg City Schools as a teacher and coach at both Dunbar and Heritage High Schools, principal of Dunbar Middle School, principal of E. C. Glass High School, and assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
• Dr. Jim Mundy, Facilities Subcommittee Chairperson - Dr. James H. Mundy currently serves as President/CEO of Lynchburg Community Action Group, Inc., a non-profit organization offering more than 25 programs and services throughout the cities of Bedford and Lynchburg, and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell. Dr. Mundy has a strong and diverse background in education. His professional experience prior to his appointment at Lyn-CAG includes over 15 years of working in the New Jersey public school system as a teacher, a principal, an assistant superintendent, superintendent and county superintendent where he served as the educational leader for Somerset County’s 23 school districts.
• Ms. Jenny Poore, Extracurricular Activities Subcommittee Chairperson – Ms. Poore is a Lynchburg native with experience as a vocal community advocate and is a local small business owner. She has three young children and has been active in the Perrymont Elementary School PTO serving on the executive board as Volunteer Coordinator.
• Mr. Lyle Schweitzer, Finance Subcommittee Chairperson - Mr. Schweitzer is a former School Board Chairperson. He is the Vice President of LBM Office Solutions, and serves on the boards of several organizations including the Lynchburg Kiwanis and the Heritage High School Band Boosters. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech – Pamplin College of Business.
• Dr. Sally Selden, Community Impact Chairperson - Dr. Selden is a Professor of Management at Lynchburg College where her areas of teaching are organizational behavior, human resource management leadership and perspectives on business. She is a published researcher with two current research projects - one on local early childhood education and the second on public management systems. She is the parent of Lynchburg City School students.
• Ms. Ingrid Hamlette, At Large Member - Ms. Hamlette is the mother of both a 2010 graduate of Heritage High School and a current junior there. She previously served as a member of the Lynchburg School Board and currently serves as president of the Heritage High School Athletic Boosters and is a member of the Athletic Advisory Committee. Ms. Hamlette is employed with the Falwell Corporation.
• Mr. Robert Miller, At Large Member - Mr. Miller worked at Rustburg High School for 17 years in several capacities including classroom teacher, coach and assistant
principal. He also served Heritage High School as the Associate Principal and Principal for 16 years before retiring. He is the parent of two Heritage High School graduates.
• Mr. Charlie White, At Large Member - Mr. White is a Lynchburg native and a graduate of Lynchburg City Schools (LCS). He has served as a member of the School Board since 2009 and also serves on the Lynchburg College Board of Trustees. He is an owner of Wood & White (an asset management firm) and a LCS parent.
• Mr. Turner Perrow, At Large Member - Mr. Perrow is a Lynchburg native and LCS graduate. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from VMI and is currently employed with WW Associates. Turner serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia School of the Arts and is a regional director of the VMI Alumni Association. He was elected to City Council to represent the City’s fourth ward in 2008.
For more information, please contact Michael Gillette, Steering Committee Chairperson and City Council Member at (434) 455-3995 and Al Billingsly, Steering Committee Vice Chairperson and School Board Member at (434) 237-3855.