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During election years, R. Page Minter can be found standing alongside roads in York County, encouraging residents to vote by wearing a sign and waving to cars even though he has run unopposed since he was first elected to the county School Board in 1995.
In his bid to defeat his first challenger and retain the District 4 seat, Minter said he is just as passionate about advocating for the school division as he was 20 years ago and intends to continue that work for a sixth term.
“I’m still as enthusiastic today as I was the first time, if not more,” Minter said. “It’s just great to be a part of a team that is trying to pull together in the same direction.”
Minter, 69, first came to the Peninsula in 1967 to work at the Newport News Shipyard but left 10 years later to take a job in Alabama. He and his family returned to the Shipyard in 1987 and moved to Dare, choosing to settle in York County because of the schools.
Minter said he decided to run for the School Board after mowing the lawn one night in 1995, later telling his wife that if he could volunteer anywhere, he would give his time to “the youth and the future.”
“I felt like a pair of brown shoes in a tuxedo world, but I knew that I really liked to work for the youth, so it grew from there,” Minter said.
Minter won the seat in a contested race in 1995, the first year elections were held for the School Board, and has held the seat ever since. This year he faces a challenger in Stephen Roane, an IT manager at AT&T.
If re-elected, Minter said he would continue to guide residents in the right direction when they share their concerns, make sure all schools are well-maintained and encourage collaboration between the School Board, the Board of Supervisors and state legislators.
Minter, who was recently inducted into the Virginia Career and Technical Education Hall of Fame, said heightening awareness career and technical education and its importance to the future is one of his most important accomplishments on the School Board.
“Career and tech has been good to me. That’s how I got into where I am,” Minter said.
As a leader, Minter said he listens, thinks before he speaks and seeks to solve small problems before they can grow.
While he said having an opponent is good for the community, he also said he would not argue for or against term limits. Minter encouraged residents to think about why they would vote out a longtime representative who does not have a personal agenda, is open-minded and has a historical background that “keeps things moving.”
“This office, it’s a privilege and an honor to be here. It does not belong to me. It belongs to the citizens and they have to make that decision,” Minter said. “I hope they make the right one.”