Lovettsville resident John Beatty officially threw his hat into the ring during a campaign kickoff Tuesday night, declaring his candidacy for the Catoctin District seat on the Loudoun County School Board. All nine seats on the board are up for election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Board member Chris Croll currently represents the Catoctin District, after being appointed by the board in December to finish out the remainder of the term vacated by Eric DeKenipp. Beatty was one of six candidates they considered for the appointment, which runs through Dec. 31. Croll is not seeking election to the seat.
Beatty, the information technology director at the Heights School in Potomac, MD, stated that his goal was to “focus on fostering well-rounded students in Loudoun.” This includes reading, writing, math, arts and music, he explained. With a background that includes public and private education as well as homeschooling, one of Beatty’s primary goals is to increase parent involvement, specifically in determining how to best educate their children. “We all understand every child learns differently, and I will make sure parents have the options available to guide their children as they see fit including access to IEPs [individualized education plans] and hybrid learning programs.”
Beatty also plans to support students in the more rural western parts of the county, where the school board “seems determined to shut down our small elementary schools, treasured of western Loudoun, in a misguided effort to save money.” He pointed to decisions by the school system to, for example, standardize bus routes, resulting in some students walking a mile down gravel roads just to get to the bus. “Those short-sighted decisions are impacting the quality of life that makes western Loudoun so special.”
A DC native and graduate of Virginia Tech, Beatty is a member of the Waterford Citizens Association, the Loudoun Beekeepers association, and the Waterford Foundation. Beatty lives on a farm between Waterford and Lovettsville with his wife Katie and four children, including a second grader at Waterford Elementary School.