Meet the candidates: Mark Miear, Penny Franklin running for Montgomery County School Board seat

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – There are two candidates in the running for District B in Montgomery County — 20-year school board member Penny J. Franklin and former superintendent Mark Miear.

Miear, a Marine Corps veteran and father, said he’s running for office because he believes he was fired unfairly last year.

“I know I have the ability to work and I have shown that over my many years that I can work with anyone regardless of the situation because it is what’s best for kids,” Miear said.

Miear said the school district needs to get back to the fundamentals of education.

“One thing is we need to get back to the basics,” said Miear. “We kept kids out of school for so long during COVID. Our reading, writing, and math scores have declined and that is something we need to address.”

His opponent has served on the board since 2000.

Franklin said she’s been a part of new school buildings, focused on vocational and trades programs, and been part of one of the highest-performing districts in the Commonwealth.

She said her focus is making the county the best it can be.

“I believe everybody needs to be heard, and their concerns be taken into consideration when decisions are being made.”

Miear is also focused on addressing transgender issues but Franklin said the current policy is one Miear agreed on and she feels it is fair.

“Our non-discrimination policy is just that, not discriminating against students,” said Franklin. “Just because you may not agree with me does not mean that I should be punished or made to feel lesser than.”

Election day is November 7, 2023. Find the latest election news here.

About the Author:

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.