Process continues to fill vacant Harrisonburg school board seat

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:37 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The process to fill one vacant school board seat continues in Harrisonburg after former board chair Nick Swayne resigned to pursue a new opportunity out of state.

The three candidates, Thomas Domonoske, Diane Foucar-Szocki, and Corin Jackson were interviewed during Tuesday night’s meeting.

All three candidates had three minutes to answer six questions pertaining to which school policies they would like to see changed, their passions, how they will be an asset to the school board, and their thoughts on the local implementation of Virginia’s transgender student protection policy passed in the 2020 legislative session.

“We need to make sure that we continue to communicate with the parents and communicate with students, and make sure that our students who are transgender have support and aren’t treated any differently,” Jackson said.

“We need to be the stewards and guardians of those laws that are passed by our legislature,” Foucar-Szocki said. “I understand change is hard and people can see things in different ways, but we as a school system have to be thoughtful and consider all of the variables.”

“What our school board did is exactly what they were supposed to do. We live in a society that is bounded by law. They did what they were required to do,” Domonoske said. “The controversy that has been raised, I think everyone first needs to understand that the law was passed and the school districts followed the law.”

Domonoske, a lawyer, and Foucar-Szocki, a professor at James Madison University, have both previously served on the Harrisonburg School Board. Newcomer Jackson is a local business owner.

There will be a public comment period at the board’s next work session on Sept. 20 where people can share who they think should take the seat. The new member will be appointed at a special meeting on Sept. 27.