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South Boston News
Crump / November 16, 2017
The ability to juggle many roles is a good trait for a teacher to carry into the classroom.

It’s especially helpful when the teacher has a second job — as a local school board member.

That’s the case with Cassandra Crump, a 17-year teacher with Halifax County Public Schools who earlier this month was elected a member of the Pittsylvania County School Board.

Crump, a collaborative teacher based at Cluster Springs Elementary School working with pre-K through 12th grade students in several Halifax County schools, will begin her term as Dan River-area trustee on the Pittsylvania board in January.

The Halifax County native will continue to teach here although she lives over the county line in Pittsylvania. She won her contested race on Nov. 7 with 42 percent of the vote, while incumbent Neal Oakes received 27 percent and challenger Gayle Barts received 31 percent.

Barts voiced her support of Crump: “She’s a very qualified candidate and a very sweet person,” Barts said.

Making her foray into local elected politics, Crump said she received overwhelming support from her colleagues upon hearing of her decision to run.

“I have been blessed to earn the respect and confidence of my colleagues over the years as we have worked together to meet the needs of our students. They were all very supportive and many even excited about my decision to run,” she said.

Crump also found enthusiastic support from her own community. “As I campaigned door to door within my community, the responses were overwhelmingly positive and many felt having the perspective of a teacher on the board makes sense.”

Her decision to run for the Pittsylvania school board seat is based on her belief that the community has a shared responsibility for decisions made about our children’s education. She knows that students, parents, school staff, and the community at large all play a vital role in maintaining a successful school division and a successful school community.

“I want my community to be informed about what is going on in education and to have a part in making decisions.”

A 17-year resident of Pittsylvania County, Crump met the qualifications needed to earn a spot on the ballot. Although not a Pittsylvania teacher, she has attended county school board meetings as a Dan River area resident.

Her work with children began in high school as a camp counselor at the YWCA. From that, she worked as a recreation aide for Danville Parks and Recreation from 1996 to 2008. An active member of the Halifax Education Association for 17 years, she served as president from 2010-14.

While pursuing her degrees at Danville Community College and University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Crump worked as a cashier and office assistant at Harris Teeter. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education of Deaf Children from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Radford University.

When Crump finished her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Pittsylvania County did not have the position she wanted. Pittsylvania County students in need of her expertise were being served by a Danville City Schools program at the time. Halifax County had the right program and the need of a teacher with her qualifications.

Her husband of 17 years is Howard Crump, employed with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s office as the school resource officer for Kentuck Elementary and Dan River High School. She and her husband are members of New Life Community Church in Danville.

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