Special/Signature Issues » Independents' Day

John W. Montgomery, Jr.


Race: Henrico County School Board

Full Name: John W. Montgomery, Jr.

Age: 44

Family: Carole (spouse), John W. "Jack" Montgomery, III (11), Michael Travis Montgomery (4)

Profession: Attorney

Education: BS, United States Military Academy (1985); JD (law degree), Tulane University School of Law

Where do you live? Sandston, Virginia

Where did you grow up? A small town in north Louisiana

What are your signature policies and campaign issues? A world class education for every student.

New and Renovated School Facilities:
Eastern Henrico is unique to the greater Richmond area. Varina remains rural, but is facing significant development pressure. It is unacceptable that our schools are forced to put students in trailers when we know that forecasted residential development is coming. Additionally, our school system should be at the forefront of environmentally friendly and sustainable construction, maintenance and operational practices.

Expanded Communications:
My military career taught me that communication is essential to an effective organization. Varina deserves a school board representative that will meet with parents, teachers, and administrators routinely. To that end, I have agreed to hold a "town hall" meeting at least once per semester in every school. Communication will also be improved by placing all School Board meetings on the County's cable channel and the internet. (As chairman of the Board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, I insisted that the audio of all Board meetings be placed on the internet.) Open government is a hallmark of good government.

Improved Security:
Children cannot learn and teachers cannot teach without a secure and safe environment. Improvements in security will require greater participation by parents and the community, and where necessary, more security officers.

Smarter use of technology:
The proper and efficient use of technology is more important than merely having the latest technology in place. As we continue to review the laptop computer program and consider additional technological upgrades, we must make certain that we have clear objectives that enhance instruction in a measurable way.

Why are you running as an independent?
Why aren't you running as a Democrat or Republican? Virginia Code requires that school board elections be non-partisan. I believe that the legislature knew what it was doing when it set school boards up this way. I am running a non-partisan campaign and will serve Henrico's schools, parents and students without consideration of party or party politics.

When it created elected school boards, the General Assembly correctly avoided making school board elections partisan political positions. Regardless of one's party affiliation, a good public education for all children is a priority that crosses party lines. Additionally, it is essential that no parent, administrator, teacher or public official ever hesitate to contact a school board member because he or she is on the other side of the aisle.

What changes would bring you into the Democratic or Republican fold?
I would like to see the Democrats show a little more of the Harry Truman "the buck stops here" attitude. I would like to see the Republicans show a little more of Abraham Lincoln's humanity and the "speak softly" part of Teddy Roosevelt's mantra of "speak softly and carry a big stick."

How did you arrive at your political convictions?
My parents and grandparents instilled in me a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, and desire to serve others. I believe that an honest day's work deserves an honest day's wage. I believe that everyone is responsible for his own decisions. I believe that every person should be willing to help others, particularly those less able to help themselves. These are the reasons that I went to West Point and served in the military, and these are the reasons that my family and I have decided to seek public office.

Are you running to win, or running to bring attention to certain issues?
I am running to win because there are too many important challenges and opportunities facing our children. I would not enter the election if I did not believe that I could best address the issues and opportunities facing our public education system.

Who are your political heroes? Harry Truman; John Kennedy; Franklin Roosevelt; Teddy Roosevelt; Abraham Lincoln (in no particular order).

Is it wrong to steal office supplies? It is wrong to steal. If you need something, however, let me know. I may have one you can borrow.

What kind of car do you drive? I have almost always driven Fords.

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