WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
For 15 years, Julie Reichle has actively volunteered at York County schools, spending time in classrooms, serving on the PTSA and fundraising for after-prom.
Now, Reichle is aiming to take her commitment to the next level, challenging Mark Medford to represent District 3 on the York County School Board.
“I just felt compelled and I felt like I had a lot to bring to the table, new energy, education and experience, especially with the budgeting situation,” Reichle said.
Reichle, 47, moved to Seaford to start a family in 1991. She said she currently works in property management but also has 15 years of experience as a certified public accountant and has audited public school systems.
“I know the right questions to ask and how to get the answers, just with the experience in accounting and knowing what I’m looking at,” Reichle said.
She said she decided to run for school board after following the budget process and different school issues in York County, including staff turnover and changes in instructional methods.
“I feel we need to be more consistent and prioritize retaining teachers, classroom size and things that are proven to work,” Reichle said.
While she spoke out publicly against the hybrid 4×4 schedule, which was implemented at York High School during the 2011-2012 academic year but canceled in the middle of the year, she said her campaign is not purely focused on instructional programs. However, she noted that trying out new instructional programs can hurt teacher retention.
“It creates a lot of pressures on teachers to learn new programs when they’re not being trained, when they feel like they keep being asked to give more and more, but they’re not receiving compensation and respect,” Reichle said.
If elected, Reichle said she would recommend reducing class sizes in kindergarten through third grade, the age range that benefits the most developmentally from small classes, she said.
She said she would also call for more transparency and accountability with taxpayers as well as enhanced communication with the Board of Supervisors, not just during budget times but throughout the year.
Reichle is Medford’s first opponent in a general election since he was first elected in 2000. She said she believes Medford could have been more responsive to his constituents concerns when they spoke out against the hybrid 4×4 schedule.
“Mark is part of our community and a nice person, but I feel like we need someone who will ask questions, provide more leadership and a voice for District 3,” Reichle said.
If elected, Reichle said she would send out a monthly email newsletter to advise constituents of upcoming decisions, not just notify them of the final vote. As a leader, Reichle said she would listen to all sides before making a decision and encourage discussion to solve problems.
“The solutions aren’t easy but I think we need to prioritize, not expend energy on things that aren’t proven,” she said.