Letter: Vote for John Bourgeois for Hampton school board

The voters in Hampton district were disheartened to see that no candidate had qualified to be named on the November ballot as our representative on the school board. Now, we have a choice among three as write-in candidates to fill that vacancy, a delightful dilemma that I have resolved by my decision to write in John Bourgeois.

John brings to his candidacy more than 60 years of experience as a teacher, musician, conductor, administrator and mentor to adults and young students throughout the county. John capped off a 40-year career as a U.S. Marine with the rank of colonel and director of the Marine Band, known to most of us as “The President’s Own.”

As a full-time resident of Rappahannock since his retirement 20 years ago, he has hardly rested. While serving as a visiting professor at his alma mater, Loyola University in New Orleans, in a chair endowed in his name, he has been twice chairman of the board of our Child Care and Learning Center, president of the Rappahannock Historical Society, member of the advisory board of the Castleton Foundation and composed “Panther Pride,” a Rappahannock County High School fight song.

I respect that John entered the race in opposition to the proposal of another candidate that our teachers be armed to enhance security at the schools, aligning himself with the opposition to this proposal by both Sheriff Connie Smith and sheriff candidate Andy Berry. John will bring his personal experiences of a lifetime devoted to instructing students in music to our school board. As he has said in his campaign, “an objective in music is the resolution and melding of dissonance into harmony, not unlike one’s involvement in the community.”

I urge you to write in John Bourgeois for Hampton’s representative on the school board. And, as John says, if you can spell it correctly, thank a teacher.

Ray Gooch

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