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Every four years since 1996, Barbara S. Haywood has sat down with her family to discuss whether she should run for another term as the District 1 representative on the York County School Board.
Although she was the last incumbent to announce her decision, she said ‘yes’ to a likely sixth elected term because she remains committed to making a positive difference in the community.
“I hope people are satisfied. I hope people believe I do this for the right reason, that I make a positive difference, and that’s my goal, to make a positive difference where I live and work,” Haywood said.
Haywood, 64, a nurse practitioner, moved to York County 30 years ago. She had not lived in the county long before a neighbor asked her to apply for a seat on the School Board. After consulting her family and receiving encouragement from other members of the community, Haywood applied for the position.
“I think they knew we were going to be invested for a long time in education,” Haywood said.
She was appointed to the District 1 seat in 1989 by a selection committee and re-appointed to a second term by the Board of Supervisors. She ran to keep her seat when the School Board became an elected office in 1996 and has retained it ever since, running every four years unopposed.
Haywood said she does not believe a challenger has stepped forward because her constituents believe she makes a difference in her listening ability, her professionalism and her compassion.
She said her accomplishments on the School Board include hiring diverse and qualified staff, encouraging student achievement and addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of students.
Haywood said her priorities in her sixth term would be informed by the School Board retreat held in January.
“I think it gives everyone an equal opportunity to voice concerns about public education,” Haywood said.
As a leader, Haywood said she listens, observes and assesses to determine how she can bring people together to achieve a mutual goal.
“I can see the vision that we want to accomplish about how to get there,” Haywood said.
In four years, Haywood said she hopes to say she has effectively made a difference in public education in York County and that the School Board has remained accountable to students, parents and teachers.