School Board’s Tynes draws challenger

Published 3:46 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

By Akilah Frye

Staff writer

Incumbent Denise Tynes will face challenger Brandi Perkins in the Nov. 7 general election for the District 1 seat on the Isle of Wight County School Board.

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Tynes was elected to the Isle of Wight County School Board in November 2019 after previously serving from 2011 to 2014. She chaired the board from Jan. 1, 2022 until earlier this year, when John Collick was elected chair by the board’s new conservative majority.  

Tynes declined comment about her reelection bid.

Perkins described herself as a mother and wife who is passionate about education.

“I grew up in the Hampton Roads area and was fortunate enough to return here in 2014 when my family moved to Smithfield,” she said in an email to the Times. “Due to the amount of moving, earlier in my husband’s career, I chose to homeschool my children. I understand what it takes to be both the parent and educator to children as I also taught high school level classes at a co-op until my children graduated.”

She said her School Board candidacy is “based on my belief that the schools need to get back to the basics of education — reading, writing, arithmetic and critical thinking skills.”

She said her priorities include “allowing each child to reach their full potential instead of holding them back; keeping an open line of communication with the parents, teachers and community; getting as much money as possible to the classrooms where it belongs while being transparent and fiscally responsible; getting back to the basics of education and getting politics out of schools; making every effort to ensure a safe and positive learning environment; and offering as much Career Technical Education as possible so that children are exposed to different career paths as well as have an opportunity to develop a creative outlet through classes such as shop, band and art.”

Perkins’ campaign treasurer is Heidi Swartz, who has been a vocal critic of the county schools’ equity and inclusion initiatives.