BRISTOL, Va. – The Bristol Virginia School Board unanimously selected Breanne Forbes Hubbard to fill the unexpired term of Tyrone Foster Thursday.
Forbes Hubbard, 36, works as population health specialist for the Virginia Department of Health’s Mount Rogers Health District. She is already connected to the school division and said she is “really excited” to bring multiple perspectives to the board.
“I think the perspective of a parent is really important. My kids are in the schools. I live close by to where the new school is to be built. I’m very vested in the schools and want them to succeed and helping students do the best that they can,” she said following the 4-0 vote. “It’s very critical to the future of our community to have a great, engaged student base. I hope to represent the views of teachers and of parents and bring that to the board.”
Forbes Hubbard previously worked in the city schools as an academic aid and her husband currently teaches at Virginia High School.
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Foster resigned last month after being elected the city’s new sheriff.
The board last week approved a resolution asking the court to set a special election for November for whoever wins to fill the remaining two years of Foster’s four-year term, Superintendent Keith Perrigan said.
“I want to thank all of the applicants. It gave me a lot of faith in our community. There are some great people out there with great qualifications and interest to step up and volunteer and help our school system,” board member Steve Fletcher said.
Forbes Hubbard emerged from a field of 10 applicants.
“We asked for letters of intent and received them by Dec. 17. We reviewed those. We had 10 real good applicants of diverse backgrounds. I asked each member to bring in two names to our board meeting this past Thursday and Breanne was among the top two on everyone’s list,” board Vice Chair Randy Alvis said after the meeting.
Alvis said Hubbard was chosen for a number of reasons.
“She’s worked with our system and in our system and we really felt like we needed someone who had a student. Mr. Foster brought that, and we were losing that,” Alvis said. “I think the final decision for her, over the candidates, was her working at Mount Rogers Health District. We’re going through a pandemic. What better way to be in touch with what’s happening in Southwest Virginia health wise. I think that was the deciding factor.”
She hopes her professional background will help the system continue to navigate the pandemic.
“We’ve heard school systems, superintendents throughout the pandemic talk about their frustration. They’ve been put in a place to make health decisions when they don’t have a health background,” Forbes Hubbard said. “I’m coming as an individual citizen. I’m not representing VDH or Mount Rogers on the board, but I do have that knowledge base so it does bring a different level of comfort with the topic. I hope I’ll be able to provide quick, accurate answers about health questions so they don’t have to figure it out.”