Editor’s note: Brent Hudson, who is running for reelection to the Catawba District seat on the Roanoke County School Board, agreed to answer the following questions ahead of the Tuesday, Nov. 7 election. -Aila Boyd
Q: What prompted your decision to run for the board?
A: It started when I was assigned as a school resource officer in Glenvar Schools from 2010-2015. During my time working inside of the schools, I was able to connect with the staff and make a difference for many of the students. Besides my normal duties as a police officer in the schools, I coached sports, mentored, and assisted with several student led organizations. I truly became a part of the community and was able to serve in a very rewarding way. In 2015, I accepted a position in Sheriff Orange’s administration with the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office. My new position allowed me to learn about government budgets and what it takes to run an organization.
After leaving Glenvar schools, I felt a strong calling to get back involved with our school system and our youth. I knew that serving on the board would give me the opportunity to give back to the community that I love and also give the students and staff the best opportunities possible.
Q: What in your background makes you feel equipped to serve on the Roanoke County School Board?
A: First and foremost, I am a father of two children in the school system. Every decision that I make for our school system affects my own children.
I have bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and have leadership certificates from the University of Richmond, Sam Houston State University, and Hollins University.
I have extensive knowledge involving government budget and purchasing, staff leadership and management, and I have served for the past 2 years on the board and currently the chairman.
Q: In your estimation, what is the role of a school board member and how do you see that role lining up with your idea of leadership?
A: The role of a school board member is to govern school system policies, budgets, and ensure that the superintendent is doing everything possible to provide the best educational opportunities for our students. It is also my role to answer the concerns of the public and do what I believe to be the majority wishes for this district. I am very involved with the public and very approachable. I attend PTA meetings, sporting events, and school functions to continually stay in touch with the needs and desires of those I serve.
Q: What would some of your priorities be if reelected?
A: Once re-elected, I will continue to oversee the construction of our new state of the art Burton technical center and remodeling of Glen Cove and W.E Cundiff elementary schools. I will continue to fight to place and keep school resource officers in every school, work to give our students the best educational opportunities possible and always respect the rights of parents. I will make sure that every parent is informed and involved in their children’s education.
Q: What challenges do you think the Catawba District will face over the next four years in terms of education?
A: After the loss of classroom time due to COVID, our scores dropped. I have worked with our administrative staff to find ways to assist our teachers and students to close this gap. We have hired additional staff and implemented tutoring from outside agencies and I am monitoring this situation closely. We have been very successful to date.
With the construction of our new technical center, we will need to ensure that we are offering our students the right programming and equipment to equip them for next step after graduation. I am advocating for HVAC, diesel, auto collision, and dental assistant programs that our advisory committee reports are in high demand for employees.
Q: What challenges will Roanoke County as a whole face over the next four years in terms of education?
A: With 27 school buildings, infrastructure and maintenance are always a challenge. The economy is an obvious concern with interest rates and other factors that could affect county and state revenues. Our funding could be affected from these revenues and this could greatly impact our operations. Surrounding district pay is higher and it is a constant struggle to remain competitive. I have fought to give our staff 7 percent raises for the past two years and succeeded. We want to hire and retain the brightest and the best and will continue to find creative ways to do so.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like voters to be aware of before voting?
A: I believe that it is a God given and constitutional right for a parent to have a say in their children’s education. I will not allow sexual and gender ideologies to be promoted or taught in our schools. I will always strive to give your children the best educational opportunities possible to assist them in the next step of their lives.
This seat belongs to the public and I will always do my best to serve you with honor, dignity, and respect. I am humbled and blessed to have served the past two years and look forward to what we can accomplish together in the next four years.