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As an IT manager at AT&T, Stephen Roane says his job is to help people solve problems and empower them to be successful – a role he calls a “mirror-image” of a school board member in York County.
In his bid to represent District 4 on the School Board, Roane said he will bring his experience working with people and identifying solutions to the future challenges of the school division.
“I think I could bring all of my 26 years of experience where I’ve been successful there and apply that to the challenges the York County School Division is facing,” Roane said. “I’ll need to bring together the right resources, the right people, work with my peers on the Board of Supervisors and different commissions and staffs to identify solutions to problems and help them implement them.”
Roane, 49, moved to Dare in 1999 after living in Northern Virginia for 10 years. He said he decided to run for the School Board after getting involved in his children’s activities as well as local community forums.
“This feels like a natural part of that evolution to step up into a different arena to serve. This feels like a really good fit,” Roane said. “It seems like this is really where I can devote some energy and help the county and the schools be successful.”
Roane is challenging incumbent Page Minter for the District 4 seat. This is Roane’s first bid for public office.
If elected, Roane said his priorities include ensuring funding is in place to prepare students for success, planning ahead to accommodate all students and enhancing network security and physical safety in schools.
He said one of the most important challenges the School Board is facing is aging infrastructure. He noted issues with water intrusion, roofs and HVAC systems at schools need to be addressed to ensure students can learn in a comfortable environment.
“If you don’t maintain that infrastructure, if your schools start to fall apart, you can’t give people a good quality education,” Roane said.
As a leader, Roane said he leads from the front and empowers people to research and solve problems on their own.
“I don’t think anyone expects any one person on the board to have all the answers to any challenge, but they do expect them to know who to go to to find those answers and work with those folks and see that those challenges are resolved,” Roane said. “That’s what I do, and I’ve been successful for over two decades doing that.”
Roane said residents have told him they are excited to have the opportunity to vote for a different candidate – Minter has run unopposed in a general election since he was first elected in 1995. Roane said he believes in the value of rotating leadership and has experienced it himself at AT&T.
“I think this is an opportunity for me to bring a fresh perspective, some new ideas to the office,” Roane said. “I think that perhaps with my current business background, I think I probably understand better the current needs of what students will need to have to be successful as they go out into the business world.”