- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A parent volunteer and PTO president has filed to run for a spot of the Charles County Board of Education.
Victoria “Vicki” Talley Kelly, 37, of La Plata said she is not the type to step back and see how the chips will fall.
“I want to get involved,” she said.
Being a part of the school board, she said, is a way to continue with her involvement with the public school system.
Kelly was the 2013 recipient of the Maryland State Department of Education Parent Involvement Matters Award for her volunteer work at Mary H. Matula Elementary School in La Plata where she currently serves as co-president of the PTO.
Outside of volunteering in the school system, Kelly is a program analyst for a government contractor.
She said her financial background could be beneficial to the board when working with the school budget and making certain schools get the funding they need.
She said some of that funding needed will be to maintain existing schools and renovate and expand as needed.
Her financial background also could be beneficial in working with the Charles County commissioners on funding matters, she said.
“I want the best education for kids and the best environment for teachers to do what they need,” Kelly said.
Ensuring there is sufficient funding for schools, she said, also is important when it comes to “hiring and retaining great teachers.”
Kelly won’t only rely on her financial skills but also her skills picked up from years of volunteering. While she understands the role of the school board is to set policy and adopt school system budgets, she said her experiences would allow her to approach the school board role from various perspectives.
She said for her, community and parent involvement are an important piece of education.
Kelly would like to see PTO groups come together and form a council of PTOs, allowing schools to benefit from one another.
“I want parents involved,” she said.
She wants to get local businesses and community organizations involved to support schools, saying that investing in students is an investment in the future.
“We have to teach them about reading writing and math but also to be good citizens in society,” Kelly said.
She said she would like to see Charles County schools be a system that other systems strive to be.
“We can achieve that ... but it’s going to take community support,” she said.
Kelly also wants to see the school system continue to make sure standards are high in the school system.
Kelly has three children, two of whom are attending public school in Charles County.
Kelly volunteers in the community as a member of the town of La Plata Parks and Recreation Commission and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Port Tobacco chapter. She also is a member of the Weekday Childcare Board of Advisors for Blessed Lambs Preschool, which her youngest child attends.
Kelly has been a part of two local MOMS clubs — Moms Offering Moms Support — and is a past senior society president of the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution, General Smallwood Society.
She has an MBA in management consulting, which she said is another piece of the multiple perspectives she brings to the table.
Kelly said she first got a taste of being active on school system matters when she and other parents became concerned about school safety.
Kelly brought parent concerns to a school board meeting pointing out what they wanted to see done in the system and specifically at Matula. Kelly said she has seen changes in school safety measurements in the system, and she would like to see school safety stay a top priority.