WHEN: Thursday September 19, 2013 6:00 pm. (Please arrive by 5:30 if possible)
WHERE: New Bridge Auditorium. 5915 Nine Mile Rd., Henrico, VA 23223. (see directions below)
WHAT: To issue public comment in support of Tony H. Pham for the interim appointment to the vacant Three Chopt school board seat.
I wanted to let you all know that I have submitted my paperwork for consideration for the interim appointment for the Three Chopt District on the Henrico County School Board.
As the Gayton PTA Lay Advisory Committee Representative for the last year, I have recognized the need for a representative who has an understanding of the everyday needs of our children, parents and faculty. I have two (2) children in our public school system now so the decisions which come from the School Board are very real to our family. The challenges are great in these harsh economic times and there is a need for the next member to help re-build trust between the parents and the Board.
As a licensed attorney, who represents and has represented different government agencies, the Board will be getting an individual who is aware of the public procurement rules in government contracting as well as matters involving conflicts of interests.
Finally, Asian Americans make up 6.5% of Henrico County’s population according to the 2010 Census data. Our population continues to grow. Asian Americans contribute to the educational and economic engine of Henrico County, yet our community has NO representatives in local government. I hope to change that, but I can only do so with your support.
As a refugee to this country in 1975, I was able to benefit from a strong public school system. I took ESL classes in Henrico County public schools from K-2 and continued to do so outside of the County. I can testify first hand, that Asian American students face different challenges than our counterparts. We battle the stereotype of “model minority” thus having the majority of our children’s concerns ignored.
As a member of the Virginia Asian Advisory Board, I truly understand the issues which affect our children’s education. From witnessing mis-diagnosis as learning disabled BECAUSE of language barriers to understanding that our community does in fact fail to address mental health issues, I bring a substantive value to our children’s lives should I serve on the school board.
Again, I apologize for the intrusion this morning. There will be a public hearing on September 19, 2013. For those who know me, I hope you can come out and support me and help make the School Board a truly representative body of Henrico County. For those who do not, please let me know if you have any questions which I am willing to answer.
With kindest regards, I remain
Tony H. Pham