By Linda Cicoira — Connie Burford, of Bloxom, was one of the movers and shakers who rallied for an elected Accomack County School Board. She announced her candidacy this week for the District 4 seat on that panel in the November General Election.
“As a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore and a single parent of two children, I am very aware of the difficult decisions the school board faces continuously,” she said. “I can also empathize with the employees who have to struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis. I want to give a fresh perspective on the board and breathe new ideas into our school system.”
“I am proud to say, I was educated in Accomack County Public Schools and graduated from Arcadia High School in 1982,” Burford said. “I spent a large portion of my life with educators. My uncle, Ricky Burford, retired from this school system after 32 years of service. Education has always played a big role in my life.”
Burford earned her practical nursing license from Northampton/Accomack County School of Practical Nursing. She was licensed in Virginia and Maryland in 1984. Her daughter is graduating from Longwood University, in May, with an education degree. Her son will be returning next year to Nandua High School. He was born with autism and various learning disabilities and excels in his classes there.
“As a parent, I volunteered daily at Kegotank Elementary School while my children attended there,” Burford said. “I helped chaperone field trips, decorated for graduations, and did anything else that was needed. I am a very active participant in both Arcadia and Nandua after-prom committees.”
Burford served on the Parent Advisory Committee through three superintendents and served on the Budget and Finance Committee when it was formed.
In 2014, “I became co-sponsor of Arcadia High School BETA Club with my friend Cecilia Baker. For several years we have been recognized as a National BETA Club School of Merit.”
Five years ago, Burford started serving on the School Health Advisory Board, a group committed to creating healthy school environments. She continues to be an active member.
“Our mission is to advise the school division on issues and programs related to health and healthy lifestyles,” Burford said. “We are actively involved in the development and presentation of school policy.”
“As a special education advocate, I receive countless phone calls from parents about issues regarding their children,” Burford continued. “I offer advice, make phone calls, provide them with websites, and/or paperwork, to help find solutions. I have, when invited, attended their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.”
“As a school advocate,” Burford said, “I am the one employees feel comfortable reaching out to when it seems that all other doors are closed to them.”