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Tyler Pieron, Shirley StewartThe Rivanna District seat on the Fluvanna County School Board came up for grabs when current Board member Carol Carr decided not to run for re-election.

In order to give readers a comprehensive look at the two candidates, Tyler Pieron and Shirley Stewart, the Fluvanna Review asked them to answer the same questions asked last week of Columbia District candidates Andrew Pullen and Linda Staiger.

Voters in the Rivanna District will choose between Stewart and Pieron Nov. 7.

Tell us about yourself: where you grew up, your education, family and how long you’ve lived in Fluvanna.
Pieron: While I have always called Virginia home, my parents worked for the State Department, so we lived around the world, spending time in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. I spent my early years in various elementary schools both in Virginia when my parents were assigned to Washington, D.C., and the rest at American schools sponsored by the Embassy in places like Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

I attended high school at Mills Godwin in Henrico and then served in the military, where I earned a B.S. in information systems management from the University of Maryland University College. I later earned a Master’s in cybersecurity policy and am currently working on a Ph.D. in information assurance after receiving a scholarship and sabbatical from the director of national intelligence.
My wife, Claire, and I have three children and have always loved the area, so when I retired from the Army after getting hurt in Iraq, we chose a home near Zion Crossroads and later moved to Lake Monticello to be closer to her mother. We have been part of the Lake community for over a decade, with our children attending pre-school here along with taking part in sports and other activities.

Stewart: Born and raised in Rhode Island, I moved north after high school and received my bachelor’s degree and elementary teaching certification from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt. After three years of teaching in a multi-age classroom in Randolph, Vt., I earned a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, and returned to Randolph as a teacher and principal in rural schools, where I remained for over 30 years.

My husband, Alan, is a retired teacher and coach, and together we moved to Fluvanna in 2011. Our children attended the public schools where Alan and I worked, and have successful careers in Pittsburgh, New York City, and San Francisco. My mother, Fran Sadler, resides with us.

What three words best describe you?
Stewart: Collaborative, dedicated and perceptive.
Pieron: Compassionate, motivated and determined.

Before your candidacy, how many School Board meetings did you attend?
Pieron: I have been following School Board activities ever since I helped my good friend Brian Phillips, who I served with as a special agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Command, was elected to the Rivanna District seat in 2009. Prior to running, I met with or talked to several of the current School Board members to identify what they believed were the primary issues and what they proposed to solve them.

Stewart: None, although I planned with the past superintendent and School Board chair for two different yearly education sessions for the Fluvanna Leadership Development Program. Add a comment

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Pedestrian killed

A pedestrian who was struck on Kents Store Way Monday evening (Oct. 23) has died from his injuries, according to a press release from the Virginia State Police.

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Former Columbia School will become K9 training facility

The two-year saga to sell to two closed Fluvanna County school buildings finally came to an end Wednesday (Oct. 18) as the Board of Supervisors approved the sale of the former Columbia Elementary School to Rivanna K9 Services for $85,000.

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Winget-Hernandez named 2017 Business of the Year

About 60 people gathered at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Tuesday night (Oct. 17) to hear Winget-Hernandez, P.C., named 2017 Business of the Year at the Fluvanna County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

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PanelWay back in October 1788, Fluvanna County became part of the first case of gerrymandering in U.S. history when Patrick Henry led a movement to draw the lines of what would become the 5th District in such a way as to keep his political enemy, James Madison, out of office.

The effort failed, but the principle of creating voting districts that favor one political party is alive and well 229 years later. 

Last week, about two dozen Fluvannians assembled at the Historic Courthouse in Palmyra for a day-long look at the issue of redistricting.

Organized by artist Lindsay Nolting and author and historian Mac Griswold, with the assistance of the non-partisan advocacy group OneVirginia2021, the conference brought together activists, politicians, and academics who talked about everything from the moral and ethical aspects of the practice down to the nitty-gritty of algorithms that make gerrymandering so effective and so often damaging.

Most states look at redrawing voting districts in the year following the decennial census, ostensibly to readjust political representation based on whether the population has increased or decreased over the previous 10 years.
The problem is that the politicians themselves draw the lines, and the party in power of a state’s legislature at the time of redistricting controls much of the process. The incentive to draw the map to favor their own party, or “gerrymander,” is strong. Add a comment

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