Two compete for Surry School Board seat
Published 12:48 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2023
By Akilah Frye
Sue Fibish and Roxanne L. Marr-Shears are running for the Carsley District seat on the Surry County School Board.
The seat is being vacated by incumbent Dr. Marion Wilkins, who declined to comment on why she’s not running for reelection. The Bacons Castle District also will have a new representative, as incumbent Elsie Dennis isn’t running for reelection.
Marr-Shears, who holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Averett University, works as a financial management analyst for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, specializing in risk management and internal controls compliance.
“The future of our county, our commonwealth and our country lay in the balance of our votes for Surry County School Board officials,” she said. “It is not only about school budgets and policies that will impact the development of our kids. We need to think of the survival of our great community. My campaign is about a collaborative effort of generations through education to build a better tomorrow for us all.”
Marr-Shears said her passion for the community shows through her volunteer work.
“Early in my volunteer service experience in Surry I was part of the inception of the Surry Elementary School’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA), where I had the honor to serve as the treasurer directly with Principals Mr. George Fauntleroy, Ms. Geraldine Baily and partly with Ms. Ann Marie Nelin,” she said. “I am currently the chairperson for United to Empower LLC, which has supported various programs, including anti-bullying, autism awareness, Precious Jewels, Boys to Men and various other mentoring programs. I am also a soccer coach for the Surry County Parks and Recreation Center, where I have served as a coach for over 10 years.”
Fibish, a master’s prepared registered nurse, works as a neuroscience program coordinator at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News and has been working as a substitute school nurse since 2020 in Surry schools.
“I will work to ensure the students have the programs needed to be successful in their careers, focusing on technical programs for those students who will not be attending college or university, and supporting the programs for special needs children,” she said.
Fibish’s campaign logo is a schoolhouse, which she says “symbolizes the School Board as the
foundation supporting the teachers and ensuring that the community and parents are included and
vested in the education of their children, Surry’s students.”
“This can be accomplished by placing focus on the retention of our teachers, working with the community, encouraging transparency with parents by listening to their concerns and implementing mental health programs for our students,” she said. “I am in support of the many successful programs in the Surry Schools and hope that these can be further developed for the benefit of Surry’s children and the community as a whole.”
Unopposed candidates running for Surry County School Board seats in the Nov. 7 general election are Valencia J. Williams (Surry District), Sophenia H. Pierce (Bacons Castle District), Faye Perkins (Dendron District), Laura P. Ruffin (Claremont District).
Dennis couldn’t be reached for comment about her decision to not seek reelection.