Elected to the School Board in November 2015 to represent the Midlothian District, former Virginia Secretary of Education, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, is the new CEO of The Hunt Institute, an affiliate of Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows which partners with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Under his leadership, the national, nonpartisan Fellowship has garnered praise from former governors and generous financial support from major funders across the country.
Dr. Siddiqi’s career spans more than 15 years in education and education reform and policy. He began his profession as a high school teacher, assistant principal, and as a principal in Chesterfield, Virginia, where he led the implementation of Expeditionary Learning – a nationally recognized school reform model. As secretary of education in Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Cabinet, Dr. Siddiqi assisted in the development and implementation of the Commonwealth’s education policy; and provided guidance to 16 public universities, the Virginia Community College System, five higher education and research centers, the Department of Education, and the state-supported museums. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy secretary of education where he focused his efforts on teacher quality and improving educational outcomes for all students.
In addition to an extensive history of leadership service, Siddiqi continues to actively serve his community and state. He is an Aspen Institute Fellow, Vice-Rector of the Radford University Board of Visitors, a member of the Chesterfield County School Board, and serves on the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Blueprint for Education Committee. In addition, he is on the board of Voices for Virginia’s Children and the advisory boards of the Virginia Home for Boys & Girls School and Patrick Henry Charter School. He was recently appointed by the Virginia Speaker of the House to serve on the Commission on Economic Opportunity for Virginians in Aspiring Diverse Communities. Siddiqi is a graduate of Richard Bland College, Virginia State University, and Virginia Commonwealth University where he received both his undergraduate degree and doctorate in educational leadership.
Dr. Siddiqi earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree from Virginia State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from VCU. He and his wife, Karen, have two children in Chesterfield County Public Schools.
John Erbach was elected to the Chesterfield County School Board in November 2015 to represent the Dale District.
Mr. Erbach is a partner with the law firm Spotts Fain. A graduate of William & Mary (psychology) and the University of Richmond School of Law, he has worked in both the public and private sectors, including a stint as a research analyst with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as a therapy technician with autistic children, three years in the federal court system and, now, in private law practice. At Spotts Fain, his practice focuses on business litigation and counseling businesses to avoid disputes. Additionally, Mr. Erbach has provided hundreds of hours of pro bono service representing members of the community who cannot afford a lawyer when they need one, and he formerly sat on the Board of Directors of Read to Them, a nonprofit organization devoted to creating a culture of literacy in every home.
Mr. Erbach and his wife, Tiffany, have four daughters, three of whom currently attend Chesterfield County Public Schools.
First elected to the School Board in 2011, Dianne H. Smith represents the Clover Hill District. She has served as both the chairman and vice chairman of the Chesterfield School Board and was appointed by the Governor in 2013 to the School Safety Task Force. Mrs. Smith also serves on the Social Services Board for Chesterfield County and the Swift Creek YMCA Management Board. In April 2014, Mrs. Smith received the Service to Community award from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education.
Mrs. Smith worked in Chesterfield schools for over 30 years serving as a classroom teacher, reading teacher, assistant principal and principal. At the central level, she served as the assistant director of human resources and director of leadership where she designed the first leadership model for school division administrators. While serving as the principal of Winterpock Elementary, her students and staff thrived in a positive educational environment that produced some of the highest SOL scores in Virginia.
Mrs. Smith and her husband, Danny, have been married for over 45 years and are active members of Bon Air Baptist Church. They have two sons and a daughter-in-law who graduated from Chesterfield schools and another daughter-in-law who is a former Chesterfield teacher. The Smiths have two grandchildren. A graduate of public schools, Mrs. Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Carrie Coyner was first elected to the Chesterfield County School Board in November 2011. She represents the Bermuda District and previously served as chair. She is the owner and founder of RudyCoyner, Attorneys at Law, located in Chesterfield County. Mrs. Coyner practices in the fields of real estate, construction, land use, estate matters and corporate entity structuring. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Spanish language and U.S. government from the University of Virginia and a juris doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law.
Carrie Coyner has served on the Board of Management for the Chester YMCA, the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee for Chesterfield County (2010-2011), the Board of Directors for the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce, Elizabeth Scott Elementary School PTA Board, Greenleigh Community Partners, Broadwater Partners as well as numerous other boards and committees. Ms. Coyner was a 2013 finalist for the NAWBO Community Leader Award for her efforts to develop partnerships in her community to support lower socioeconomic students. She was the recipient of the 2013 VSBA All Virginia School Board Award, and the entire Chesterfield County School Board was recognized as a VSBA Board of Distinction in 2013. Mrs. Coyner and her husband, Matt, have three children who are all elementary students in Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Elected to the Chesterfield County School Board in November 2015, Rob Thompson represents the Matoaca District.
He served for 20 years in the United States Navy, retiring as a naval intelligence officer in 2005. After retiring, Mr. Thompson started a Department of Defense contracting company serving the needs of the national intelligence community. He continues to work at the Pentagon as a liaison between the Navy and the National Reconnaissance Office, ensuring that the Navy’s needs are captured in space-based requirements.
Mr. Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree in vocational education from Southern Illinois University, a bachelor’s degree in electronics technology from Norfolk State University and a master’s degree in systems technology specializing in scientific and technical intelligence from the Naval Postgraduate School.
He and his wife, Karla, have two girls who attend Chesterfield County Public Schools.