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INDEPENDENCE — James Shannon Holdaway, incumbent candidate for the Wilson District seat on the Grayson County School Board, is seeking re-election in the Nov. 5 General Election.
Holdaway has served two terms (eight years) on the board, including four as vice chairman.
Holdaway faces a challenge from Brian Walls of Mouth of Wilson, a Virginia Department of Corrections employee who works at the new state prison in Independence.
In addition to his service on the board, he is a pharmaceutical sales professional with Eli Lilly and runs his own business, Blue Ridge Inspections and Services, from home.
He is a 1985 graduate of Independence High School and a 1989 graduate of Virginia Tech, earning his degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. After college, he worked as an engineer for 20 years.
“The education I received as a student of Grayson County Public Schools was foundational to all of my success as a professional,” said Holdaway. “It is my belief that working to improve that system is my responsibility to current and future generations of students.”
Holdaway’s other experience in education includes serving as president of the Independence PTO, president of the Grayson County Little League and president of the Hokie Club for the Twin Counties.
“It has been my sincere honor and pleasure to serve the citizens of the Wilson District,” he said. “During my service, I successfully worked to change the facilities plan to include schools in the Wilson District. This ultimately led to the construction of Grayson Highlands School, not the closure of all the Wilson District Schools, as originally proposed before my first term.”
“During my service, I supported the Internet and water system projects in the Wilson District. [Also] during my service, over $2 million has been returned to the county from the school system for reallocation,” he continued.
Holdaway said during his time on the board, relations with the Grayson County Board of Supervisors has also improved. He also touched on the fact that all Grayson County Schools are now accredited, and that students can now receive an associate’s degree through Wytheville Community College at no cost to parents.
“I am proud of all of these accomplishments, as well as the outstanding relations that now exist within the school board allowing us to work together to improve the educational opportunities afforded to our children,” he said.
Holdaway lives in Mouth of Wilson with his wife, Malette Hodge Holdaway, and his two children — Grayson, 18, and Jenna, 14 — both of whom have attended Grayson County schools.
He and his family attend Bridle Creek United Methodist Church.