Akron Board of Education
Northeast Ohio, Local
As one of six children herself, a mother, and grandmother, supporting children is something that Valerie McKitrick has been doing her whole life. Valerie has participated in the local Women’s March and writes to many different politicians on behalf of women and women’s issues. She is passionate about increasing minority representation and helping to even the playing field for kids coming from poverty. As a retired teacher, Valerie asserts that she has the time and understanding to fill this position to its maximum potential.
In 2020 Valerie will begin her work as an Akron Board of Education Member.Facebook
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
My journey to filing as a candidate for school board began when I was a child. I was one of those kids who played school all year, especially in the summer (and yes, I was always the teacher)! It’s not surprising that I chose to become a teacher. My path was a bit circuitous, but eventually I arrived. After high school, I enrolled in college in general education and education classes. I quit after one semester. I simply didn’t want to be a student. I got a full-time job, fully intending to complete my education—just later. I met a wonderful man, got married, had a child, and became a teacher. I wasn’t a credentialed teacher, but as a mother I was my daughter’s first teacher!
When my daughter began all-day kindergarten, I went back to school, finished two bachelors’ degrees, began teaching full time, and earned my master’s degree. I even had my daughter as a student for her 7th and 8th grade years. I retired from teaching in 2014. Even though I was no longer in the classroom, I wanted to remain involved in education, so I made my first bid for school board the following year.I was unsuccessful, but undeterred! Fast forward to today, and I am a Matriots-endorsed school board candidate!
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I have had the good fortune of having strong, intelligent women in my life: my grandmother, mother, sisters, and friends. These women have lead by example, forging paths for granddaughters, daughters and future generations. I have seen the sacrifices they have made to protect and/or promote their beliefs. I am humbled by their wisdom.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
As a mother, grandmother, and teacher, it’s impossible to work with children daily, see what some must endure, and not want to do everything possible to advocate more strongly for them.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
- Our school district has an “A” on the state report card.
- Our city’s mayor is a woman (bonus point if she’s a woman of color).
- Our African-American population has achieved economic prosperity commensurate to their white counterparts.
- Our community jail’s race population is proportional to the overall population. (currently 7% of overall population = young black males = 42% jail population)
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
- State/local leaders are out of touch with the poor, disadvantaged.
- Voting rights are being dismantled.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I am learning to play the ukulele, and I’m taking sign language classes.