James Arieti declares for school board seat in Hampden District

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

James Arieti is the latest candidate to declare for the Prince Edward County School Board. Arieti announced this week that he’s running to represent Hampden District. That seat is opening up, as the current representative, Beulah Womack, is retiring in December at the end of her term. 

Asked why he is running, Arieti said, “I am running because I endorse the platform of our District’s supervisor, Odessa H. Pride, that ‘Education opens the door to everything.’ The only modification I would add to the platform is to make explicit one additional word. I would add the word good, so that the platform becomes ‘A good education opens the door to everything.’ I believe that a good education is built upon the principle that as human beings we are all made in God’s image, or, as the tradition of philosophy puts it, we all have the capacity to reason. Education hones that capacity by instruction in reading, writing, math, literature, science, and art so that young human beings — children — can develop into successful workers and good grown-ups — people who are kind, charitable, generous, compassionate, forgiving of the foibles of others and eager to repair their own, enthusiastic about learning, complying with good laws, and committed to changing bad ones by lawful means.”

James Arieti: His background 

Arieti grew up in New York City, graduating from Horace Mann High School in 1965. He received his B.A. in Classics in 1969 at Grinnell College in Iowa, and, in 1972, his PhD in Classical Philology at Stanford University in California. Before arriving at Hampden-Sydney College in 1978, where he taught until his retirement in 2021, he served as a professor at Stanford, Pennsylvania State University, and Cornell College.

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In 1980, at the request of Superintendent James Anderson and Director of Curriculum Nancy Iverson, he established a program of Latin instruction at Prince Edward County Public High School, and, while teaching a full course load at Hampden-Sydney, taught two hours a day at the public high school for seven years, when the school system hired a full time Latin teacher.

He has been married for forty-seven years to Barbara Arieti, who retired after 30 years as a school counselor in the Prince Edward County School System. His two children, Samuel and Ruthie, attended Prince Edward schools from kindergarten to their graduations in 1999 and 2000. Though he dislikes yard work, exercise, and most vegetables, he engages in them.