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Alleghany Highlands School Board Chair Jacob Wright

School Board Chair Serving on Important VSBA Committee

Low Moor, VA (Jan. 24, 2023) - Alleghany Highlands School Board Chair Jacob Wright has been appointed to the Virginia School Boards Association’s Legislative Committee.

As a member of the committee, Wright has a key say in the development of the VSBA’s legislative priorities that are presented to the Virginia General Assembly each year. 

Wright was appointed to the committee in November on the recommendation of VSBA President David Woodward, who has served on the Tazewell County School Board since 2008. Wright represents the VSBA’s Blue Ridge Region, which is made up of 17 school divisions in the Alleghany Highlands, the Roanoke Valley, and the New River Valley. 

“I am honored to be selected as the Blue Ridge representative on the legislative committee for the VSBA. Over the past several years, we have received $3.4 million in additional funding from the general assembly for salary equalization and consolidation efforts in the Highlands,” Wright said.

“Although the past several years have been fruitful for the Highlands, some of the legislation and proposed legislation has been disruptive to our school boards, our students, our staff and our community.  I look forward to serving in this position with a common sense approach that puts students first and represents the best interest of our region,” he said.   

Wright has been a school board member since 2013. He was originally appointed to the Alleghany County Public Schools Board on July 1, 2013, and served as vice chair from 2019-2020. He was named board chair in July 2020. 

In 2022, Wright was appointed to the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Board. The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division was created by the July 1, 2022, merger of Alleghany Highlands Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. On July 1, he was named as the first-ever board chair of the joint school division.

Wright was highly instrumental in the development of an agreement that led to the creation of the consolidated school division. He was a member of the Joint School Services Committee, which included representation from the Alleghany County School Board, the Covington City School Board, the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors, and Covington City Council. The merger agreement developed by the committee was approved by the four local governing bodies in September 2020 and the Virginia Board of Education in January 2021.

Wright worked with General Assembly members to have legislation passed as well as to obtain the $3.4 million in state funding to assist with aspects of the merger. His appointment to the VSBA Legislative Committee is for one year, and he is eligible to serve a second one-year term.

The VSBA’s Legislative Committee works with school boards to develop a legislative package for submission to the General Assembly. The Legislative Committee’s recommendations are presented to the VSBA Board of Directors for approval before they are submitted to the General Assembly.

Among items included in this year’s VSBA legislative priorities are maintaining local control of schools, state funding of schools, school safety, school infrastructure and modernization, employee recruitment and retention, and broadband connectivity.

The VSBA is a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards that promotes excellence in public education through advocacy, training, and services. The VSBA offers conferences, information, training, and counseling designed to meet the needs of the commonwealth’s educational leaders. 

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