2024 Newsletter 3 – Joe Kilgore Profile in Leadership
News2024 Newsletter 3 – Joe Kilgore Profile in Leadership

How long have you been a school board member?
I am in my 14th year on the Hampton City School Board. I was first elected in May of 2010.

What do you do when you’re not working on School Board items?
Spending time with my family has always been a priority. Most of my time continues to be working as a manager in Submarine Engineering at Newport News Shipbuilding where I’ve worked for 38 years.

Where do you turn for new ideas about serving your community?
Continuing to look, listen and learn has always been my best source of new ideas. VSBA events and national conferences such as COSSBA are always excellent opportunities to get great new ideas that might be different from my own community.

What are one or two education issues/topics/challenges that are especially important to you and why?
Ensuring that we give ALL children the best education and opportunity for academic and life success has always been the most important thing to me. To support this goal, the issues change over time, but the goal stays the same.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned through your board service that you’d like to share with others?
Being an effective board member requires constant work to understand a board member’s roles and responsibilities. Seeking opportunities for professional development to learn and grow needs to be a priority.

What is your motto as a board member?
My motto actually comes from the mission statement of our school division, which in its short version is “Every Child, Every Day, Whatever it Takes.” The full version of our mission statement is “In collaboration with our community, Hampton City Schools will ensure academic excellence for every child, every day, whatever it takes.”

What do you feel is the best benefit of being a member of the VSBA?
The best benefit of being a member of VSBA is being part of an effective statewide organization that promotes excellence in public education. Networking with the other amazing school board members across the state and working with the amazing staff of VSBA is truly amazing.

How do you define Advocacy?
I define advocacy as working individually or with a group on a cause that I am passionate about to help influence decisions and/or actions of others.

Why is advocacy important to you an your role as a school board member?
I strongly believe that children are our future, an advocate for issues that affect public education are critical to that future. Being a school board member is an honor that comes with responsibilities in making informed local decisions. It also comes with responsibilities to advocate to state and national decision makers to help keep them informed and assist them in making good decisions about public education.

What is the most challenging aspect of advocacy and how do you work to overcome it?
Having the available time to advocate as much as I would like to has always been the most challenging thing for me. My primary method to overcome this challenge has been to prioritize activities and balance both work and life as best I can.