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Christian and Reid were guiding lights

Last month two longtime school board members retired from public service in the Heart of Virginia — David W. Christian in Buckingham and George J. Reid Jr. in Cumberland.

During their tenures, Christian with 15 years on the board and Reid with 23, drastic changes in learning, testing, administrations and facilities were made in the school systems of both counties.

When Reid was first appointed in June 1993, one of the major projects was building new schools. According to Reid, it took approximately 15 years to complete all three Cumberland schools — elementary, middle and high schools.

A challenging task, no doubt, but one that Reid handled well.

Division Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin commented, “Reid always put the students first, especially with support of programs including JROTC, senior projects, career and technical education opportunities and athletics.”

During Christian’s 15 years on the Buckingham School Board, new schools were built and the division successfully transitioned to the SOL system — both of which were major accomplishments.

Reflecting on those years Christian said, “They were hard to live through, but I think as a board we came together … instead of cursing the darkness we found a way to turn on the light.”

Both Christian and Reid served as guiding lights, helping the boards traverse the often-difficult path that leads to change.

“By far. By far,” Christian said when asked if the closure of the former Gold Hill Elementary School was the hardest issue he faced while on the board.

Closing the old school was the right thing, and Christian saw that it would benefit the students, not only of Gold Hill, but of the entire county.

We commend both Reid and Christian for their dedicated service to the youth in Cumberland and Buckingham counties.