Carrollton-area School Board seat contested

Published 7:18 pm Monday, June 19, 2023

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:37 a.m. on June 20 to include the date of the School Board meeting at which Timothy Mallory had previously spoken, and clarify the requested content removal by parents.

Timothy Mallory is challenging Mark Wooster for his District 2 seat on the Isle of Wight County School Board.

Both candidates have filed with the Isle of Wight County Registrar’s Office ahead of the June 20 deadline to get their names on the November ballot, according to Registrar Lisa Betterton.

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Mallory, an Air Force veteran and former police officer who has worked for decades in school safety at the K-12 and college level, has made security central to his campaign.

“With the support of the community, I would like to work together to build and create safer schools, and prioritize the need for mental health programs and resources for students and staff,” Mallory said.

Mallory has also pledged to address teacher shortages and competitive pay.

“I will positively fight for students, parents and teachers to fulfill the promise of public education for all students,” Mallory said.

This, he said, will include “preparing, communicating, collaborating and shaping the future.”

Mallory, a resident of Carrollton, is currently the director of public safety and security services for Norfolk Public Schools.

Wooster, a resident of Rescue, was elected to his School Board seat last year to fill the remainder of a term set to expire Dec. 31, and is now running for what would be his first full four-year term if reelected.

Wooster, a federal firefighter and paramedic, ran as a self-described conservative candidate in 2022 on a platform of opposition to “divisive” and “sexually explicit” materials in schools after two parents petitioned earlier last year, unsuccessfully, to remove sexually-themed content, including LGBTQ-related material, and what one parent described as “partisan” content from all school-issued iPads. Mallory, at the School Board’s April 21, 2022, reconsideration of the requested removal, spoke in opposition to the request.

Since taking office, Wooster has written revisions to the School Board’s “instructional materials” policy, which passed in a 3-2 February vote and now restricts the use of explicit material in elementary and middle schools. The policy further requires 30-day notice be given to parents of high school students should a teacher propose using sexually explicit content in a class.

Wooster also joined with Jason Maresh, another conservative candidate who win a seat last year, and board Chairman John Collick in supporting a change to Isle of Wight’s “controversial issues” policy – one that now asserts “there is no systemic racism or bigotry perpetuated by the United States or any governmental entity.”

Wooster’s biography on Isle of Wight County Schools’ website states another of his goals is to expand career and technical education program offerings.

Of Mallory, Wooster said, “I would like to wish him the best in what I hope to be a good, clean election focused on the issues at hand. In the end, the citizens will decide who they want representing them going forward.”