Charlottesville City School Board

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The Charlottesville City School Board is the body that makes decisions related to Charlottesville City Schools. The city switched to an elected school board in 2006.

Charlottesville elects its School Board in a non-partisan election held at the same time as the general election for City Council. School Board members are elected at-large for four-year terms, with elections staggered each two years.

All Virginia school board elections are nonpartisan by law. School Board candidates in Virginia must qualify for the ballot as “independents” (by voter petition signatures), so primary elections are never held for school board.

Board Members

Current Members (2020-21)

  1. Lisa Larson-Torres (2018-21) -- Chair [1]
  2. James Bryant (2020-23) -- Vice-chair
  3. Sherry Kraft (2020-23)
  4. Jennifer McKeever (2020-23)
  5. Leah Puryear (2018-21)
  6. Lashundra Bryson Morsberger (2020-23)
  7. Juandiego R. Wade[2][3] (2018-21)

Previous Members

2013-2014 term

  1. Juandiego Wade, Board Chair
  2. Amy Laufer, Vice Chair
  3. Colette E. Blount
  4. Jennifer McKeever
  5. Ned Michie
  6. Willa Neale
  7. Leah Puryear[4]

2019 vacancy

Amy Laufer resigned in early January 2019. The Board will make an appointment at its meeting on February 21, 2019.

Former member and chair Ned Michie sought a return to the board on an interim basis to replace Laufer, as did former City Councilor Kristin Szakos. The School Board made an appointment on February 21. [5]


2021 election

After the 2019 election, the next election for School Board will be on November 2, 2021. The candidate filing deadline for this election will be on June 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

2018 special election

There was a special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Adam Hastings on March 3, 2018. [6] Applications to serve as an interim member until the November 6 election were taken through March 23.

Candidates for interim appointment in 2019

Before Elected School Boards (1960-2007)

  • Prior to 1995, Virginia school board members were appointed. The 1994 General Assembly passed an act(Approved April 10, 1994) allowing localities to decide between elected and appointed boards. The statute reads:
"If a majority of the qualified voters voting in such referendum vote in favor of changing the method of selecting school board members to direct election by the voters, then the members of the school board shall be elected by popular vote. Elections of school board members in a county, city, or town shall be held to coincide with the elections for members of the governing body of the county, city, or town at the regular general election in November in the case of a county or the regular general election in May in the case of a city or town. In no event shall any election of school board members take place prior to 1994." § 22.1-57.3. Election of school board members. (1994)
  • The Charlottesville Board of Elections held the 2006 election in which Charlottesville City School Board members were elected by popular vote for the first time. Prior to that, school board members were appointed by City Council in accordance with the 1976 City Code:
Sec. 2-341. - Composition; appointment and terms of members.
The school board of the city shall be composed of seven (7) members, to be appointed by the city council, and there shall be at least one (1) member from each ward of the city. All vacancies occurring by expiration of the term of office, as provided in the Charter, shall be filled at the second regular meeting of the city council in June of each year for a term of three (3) years, beginning on July 1. Vacancies occurring otherwise than by expiration of the term of office shall be filled for the unexpired term. No member shall be eligible to serve more than three (3) successive full three-year terms. If, for any reason, the city council should not fill the vacancies on or before July 1, as above provided, appointments, when made, shall be for the unexpired term. (Code 1976, § 2-109)

In 2020, the General Assembly approved changes to the City Charter to relect the 2006 election changes as such:

§ 45. (1946, c. 384; repealed, 2020, cc. 813, 814)
§ 45-a. School board.
The City of Charlottesville shall constitute a single school district. The school board of the city shall consist of seven members. In accordance with the general laws of the Commonwealth, three of the school board members shall be elected in November 2021 and four members shall be elected in November 2023 to fill vacancies occurring on the first of January in the years following the year in which they are elected. School board members shall serve terms of four years. The members of the school board on the effective date of this Charter are hereby confirmed in office until the thirty-first day of December in the final year of the term of office for which they were elected. The board shall have all powers and perform all duties granted to and imposed upon school boards of cities by the general laws of the Commonwealth. (1948, c. 124; 2020, cc. 813, 814)


  1. Web. Charlottesville School Board delays in-person return again citing COVID surge, Max Marcila, News Article, WVIR NBC29, Charlottesville, VA, January 7, 2021, retrieved January 8, 2021.
  2. Web. Charlottesville School Board adds two newcomers, Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 3, 2015, retrieved July 20, 2016.
  3. Web. Charlottesville School Board Members, Charlottesville City Schools, retrieved January 8, 2021.
  4. Web. School Board Recap, sort of, Jennifer McKeever, Jennifer McKeever, January 10, 2013, retrieved January 11, 2013.
  5. Web. Michie, Szakos among interim School Board hopefuls, Katherine Knott, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 8, 2019, retrieved February 24, 2020.
  6. Web. City School Board initiates process to fill vacancy, Josh Mandell, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 12, 2018, retrieved March 19, 2018.

External Links