Five School Board candidates vie for three seats

By Ruthann Carr

By the June 8 filing deadline, five candidates filed papers to run for three seats.

Incumbent Andrew Pullen is running unopposed in the Columbia district. He was elected in 2017.

Darryl Byers and Gequetta G. Murray-Key are running for the Rivanna seat which opened when Shirley Stewart decided to retire.

Eric Anderson is challenging incumbent Charles Rittenhouse for the Cunningham spot. Rittenhouse was first elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2017.

The Fluvanna Review asked each candidate to answer two questions: Why did you decide to run and what is your platform?

Pullen did not respond.

Anderson responded in an email which said he was in West Texas with unreliable access to the Internet.

Here are answers from the other candidates:


Why did you decide to run?

Byers:  “I decided to run for election to the School Board because I got a clear sense, from speaking with parents and local families, that people are searching for a school board that listens to and represents them while focusing on what is best for the students in our county and their incredible teachers.”

Murray-Key: “A good education is the key to success. As a community, many of us strive to teach our children how a good education can shape your entire future.

My record of experience in corrections demonstrates my capability as a public servant, and a manager with impact. My work as a planning commissioner demonstrates my ability to be an informed and decisive community administrator. I want to use my years of leadership and experience to help prepare the people who are the future of our community.

It is important for me to ensure that our students explore a variety of educational opportunities and do so in a manner that is attentive to the needs of our diverse population.

I want to be a part of creating a space that allows all students, educators, support staff and the community the ability to reach their fullest potential.

I believe that I am a change that is needed and the voice that this community deserves.”

What is your platform?

Byers: “My platform is simple;

  1. I would like to improve communication between the Board, teachers and parents;
  2. Discuss all options to move away from “teaching to tests;”
  3. Assist in providing a safe and accepting learning environment for all students.”

Murray-Key: “In order to improve our county’s economic prosperity, civic health, and overall quality of life, we should try to achieve some shared goals in educating our young people. As a candidate for school board, I want to ensure that Fluvanna has the policies and resources needed to help us achieve our goals. My vision for Fluvanna schools includes:

Focus on Collaboration – I want to continue to build strong relationships between our schools, families, and community.

Expanding our resources – We need mental health support, technological and other necessary resources for our students, educators, and support staff; we need to ensure that we are making budget conscious decisions.

Quality staffing – We need to ensure that we attract and retain high quality educators and support staff with competitive salaries with diverse experiences.”


Why did you decide to run?

Rittenhouse: “When I decided to run, the new high school had just opened.  There were varying opinions regarding the cost and necessity of a new school and I felt as though I could bring a common sense, business approach.  Then and even today, ideas about running the Fluvanna County school system seems to be politically motivated.  That is totally unacceptable.  Political correctness should have no bearing whatsoever when it comes to providing our children with the best education possible.  People just need to have common sense and a desire to do what is best for our county, staff and students.”

What is your platform?


  • “Providing the tools and opportunities needed for the education of our children.
  • Listening to and meeting the needs of our teachers and school employees.
  • Transparency in all revenue and expenditures.
  • Finding and cutting waste.
  • A common sense, business approach void of politics.

In addition, I am always approachable.  If you have a question, problem or want an explanation, give me a call.  If I don’t answer right away, leave a message and I will return your call. My number is on the Fluvanna County school website.”

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