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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Blue to run for at-large seat on school board
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Penny Edwards Blue

Friday, March 8, 2013

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

Penny Edwards Blue of Union Hall will seek the at-large seat on the Franklin County School Board in the November election.

Blue, a retired IBM executive, has spent the past five years tutoring and teaching math at local public schools and Virginia Western Community College.

"I believe I am uniquely prepared to serve on the school board because of my 25 years of corporate experience and my time in the classroom," Blue said. "In the past five years, I have also completed the education coursework required by the Board of Education for teacher licensure, which helped enlighten me and improve my interactions and skill with students."

Blue recently worked as a remediation specialist at Benjamin Franklin Middle School to help improve students' work in the classroom, as well as prepare them for the SOL tests.

"I will bring recent first-hand experience and knowledge of the classroom to the board," Blue said.

As a school board member, Blue said she will work to continue the community outreach and transparency the school board has begun.

"I am glad to see the improved working relationship between the board of supervisors and school board. I am also delighted to see the improved transparency with the school board and its initiatives for outreach to the community," she said. "I hope to continue in this spirit."

"I know how to work with all kinds of people. I have worked with people worldwide," Blue said. "I know how to lead and how to make thoughtful decisions."

Blue graduated from Franklin County High School in 1978. She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Hampton University and a master's degree in business administration from Duke University.

After graduation from Hampton University, she began working for IBM as a programmer and retired 25 years later as a World Wide Delivery Project Executive.

But she always knew she would return to Franklin County.

"I'm a country girl," Blue said. "I'm a Union Hall girl. My house is in the spot where our garden used to be."

"I am passionate about the education of all our children in Franklin County," she said. "The state statistics bear out the fact that the Franklin County school system is above average. However, I believe we can be the best by utilizing more of our resources. As part of our outreach, we need to collaborate more with our local businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations."

Blue is a founding member and current president of the Friends of Booker T. Washington National Monument. She served on the county's 2010 Census Complete Count Committee and was appointed the Governor's Census Complete Count Committee in 2010.

Her interests also include living history, dramatic performances, reading and hiking.

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