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June 11, 2019

Susan Pauling campaigning for Center school board seat

Contributed Photo
“I am absolutely willing to be strong in areas I need to be strong in,” Susan Pauling says. “If that means saying no, I will say, ‘No.’ I want to be liked. But, when it comes to holding people accountable or asking questions, I am not a least-resistance type of person.”
Overall, I would say she has an elegant way of working with different points of view and reaching an outcome.
— Angela Custardy, Taylor Middle School teacher
Susan E. Pauling
• Age: 48

• Home: Warrenton

• Office sought: Center District school board seat

• Work experience: Social media director, New Hope Church, Warrenton, 2016-18; women’s ministry director, Community Christian Fellowship, New Baltimore, 2009-14; massage therapist, Solley Chiropractic, Williamsport, Pa., 2000-07; drug and alcohol case manager, Westbranch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, Williamsport, Pa., 1995-97.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Okla., 1994; massage therapy certification, Mount Nittny School of Massage, State College, Pa., 2001; Victory Christian High School, Tulsa, 1990.

• Organizations: Taylor Middle School PTO; New Hope Church, Warrenton.

• Family: Husband, Philip, and four children.

• Facebook page: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Editor
Active in the education of her four children, the Warrenton woman tried to recruit candidates for the school board after Brian Gorg (Center District) recently announced he would not seek re-election.

“When the position came open, there wasn’t anyone else interested,” Susan Pauling, 48, explained last week. “I tried to convince other brilliant people I know to run.”

So, Mrs. Pauling ultimately stepped up — as she did five years ago when helping relaunch the Taylor Middle School Parent Teacher Organization.

“I’m very interested in being a positive influence for children and educators,” said the new candidate, who described herself and her husband as very pleased with Fauquier County Public Schools.

But, Mrs. Pauling said she also feels comfortable asking tough questions and holding the administration accountable.

“I am absolutely willing to be strong in areas I need to be strong in. If that means saying no, I will say, ‘No.’ I want to be liked. But, when it comes to holding people accountable or asking questions, I am not a least-resistance type of person . . . .

“I do think parents need to be more involved,” she added. “We all can stand back and not be involved . . . . What can we do to change opinions? What do we need to do to bring more parents in?”

She sees inconsistency from school to school in terms of parent teacher organizations and parental involvement.

Five years ago, she and a handful of other parents perceived the need to restart Taylor’s PTO. When no one else volunteered, she stepped up to serve as the reconstituted organization’s president — a role to which she will return in the fall semester.

“Susan is a bipartisan person,” said Taylor teacher Angela Castaldy. “Overall, I would say she has an elegant way of working with different points of view and reaching an outcome.

“She and I have worked closely on the PTO. Her leadership and ability to work with people with different ideas seem very seamless . . . . She listens a lot.”

PTO members had lots of ideas for a major project to help the school.

“Susan really kept us on track, thinking about what we could do for students that would really make a difference,” Ms. Castaldy said of the project, which bought Google Chromebooks.

In terms of challenges, Mrs. Pauling ranks support for teachers at the top.

“That includes teachers having supplies and everything they need. And, schools being set up for everything they need to serve children . . . . Salaries and compensation also will be a hot topic the next four years.”

After years of study and debate, the next board also could decide which middle school in the county seat — Taylor or Warrenton — to expand and renovate.

“It’s a matter of gathering all the information and having lots of discussion,” Mrs. Pauling said. “I think it’s gonna be one of those decisions that’s not gonna make everyone happy.

“Where do kids go during a renovation? Are we going to rezone? That would require a lot of discussion with the community.”

Ultimately, the decision must hinge on creating the best environment for learning, she said. If that means renovating Warrenton and repurposing Taylor, Mrs. Pauling said, “There are ways we can preserve a legacy” of Taylor as the county’s all-black high school before integration.

Overall, she gives the school system credit for improving communication.

“I think accessibility, like Dr. (David) Jeck’s Twitter account has been one of the most positive things . . . even when contemplating whether to close schools (because of weather). He’s engaging the kids.”

Still, she said, “some things aren’t presented to the community” and would give the system a “C” for external communication.

Mrs. Pauling previously worked as a drug and alcohol case manager, a background that helps her understand challenges many families face.

“I’m very interested in engagement with people and supporting people where they are right now,” she said. “I had a very difficult childhood . . . . Education was not in the picture when you were worried about having enough to eat.

“We need to help single moms and single dads and those struggling with mental health and substance abuse . . . . This area is a pressure cooker because of the pace, because of the financial demands.”

Her family has found strong support from counselors and other professionals in the local school system, from which her oldest child just graduated, said Mrs. Pauling, whose family moved here 11 years ago.

“I’m excited about it,” she added. “We have had amazing experiences with administration and support, people who literally have held our hands when we needed it . . . . The school system has really partnered with us.”

If elected, Mrs. Pauling said she wants to ensure the school system has what it needs to continue providing the type of support her family has received.

On the Nov. 5 ballot, she will face Rachel Bongiovi, who also announced her Center District candidacy last week.

Contact Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.
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Viyrers · August 21, 2019 at 9:14 am
In any case, the main problem is the problem with proper schooling. It’s not always and not everyone can learn effectively. But you can click now and get a case study writing help - you can simply order your homework and not worry about it. And this is a fairly rational decision.
susanpauling · June 21, 2019 at 12:24 pm
Jim Griffin, I apologize I did not see your question earlier. I have not formed an official alliance with any other school board candidate. I have met most of the other candidates and we will all be running independently for our own district seat on the board. Shelly Norden, Suzanne Sloane, and Stephanie Litter-Reber have all been very supportive of my entering the race for Center District. Please feel free to contact me directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Jim Griffin · June 13, 2019 at 5:25 am
Susan, you say "when it comes to holding people accountable or asking questions, I am not a least-resistance type of person" so I repeat the question: "Susan, have you pledged support for any other candidates? Have any other candidates indicated to you that they support you?"
Jim Griffin · June 11, 2019 at 7:45 pm
Are alliances forming between candidates? Will there be tickets of mutually supportive candidates? Susan, have you pledged support for any other candidates? Have any other candidates indicated to you that they support you?
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