Barts to compete for school board seat

Gayle Barts

Gayle Barts, legislative aide to Del. Les Adams, recently announced her intent to fill the Dan River District seat for the Pittsylvania County School Board opening in November.

She said, “As a representative of the Dan River District, I want to work with the other members of the school board and the school administration to help Pittsylvania County Schools continue to be a great place to learn and prepare our students to be trained and productive for today’s and tomorrow’s job market.”

According to Barts, a way to keep students competitive and relevant is to ensure they have needed supplies, up-to-date equipment, and even building new facilities, if there is need for it.

“For students entering college, our schools should enable them to compete with students from other Virginia school districts, as well as students from other states and other countries,” she said.

She said extracurricular activities keep students motivated and focused on excellence, and building good traits needed for college, such as time management.

“While providing a comprehensive academic curriculum should be a main priority for schools, I also support school athletics, music and arts, and organizations and clubs that promote healthy and challenging competition,” said Barts.

“I want to see improvement, wherever we can,” said Barts.

According to Barts, when she served on the Tobacco Commission, the Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center was awarded several grants.

“I also support governor’s school,” she said. Two of her three sons utilized the program. “There is great value in knocking off semesters with dual-enrollment credits.”

“To stay on top, we need to prepare our students for four-year colleges and provide alternatives,” said Barts.

“While we are fortunate to already have many skilled and experienced educators and administrators in our county, we must strive to provide an environment that is conducive to retaining and attracting the best personnel,” Barts said.

“While being female is not really the platform I’ll be running on, 80% of teachers are female and it would be nice for them to have at least one female representative on the board.”

Barts said the board position would be an extension of her past 12 years, where she has fulfilled a range of executive administration roles from serving Congressman Robert Hurt, to the Danville Science Center, to the Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation, to the Dan River High School Academic Alliance Organization and volunteer fire departments.

As a PTA member, she worked hard for Dan River Middle School, said Barts.

Gayle Barts graduated from Dan River High School, as did her three children.

Brandon Barts is a teacher at Gretna Middle School. His wife Stephanie is a second-grade teacher at Kentuck Elementary School.

Wesley and Wade, twins, were baseball state champions, played basketball, and were in the band. Wesley was the Dan River High School valedictorian of 1999.

Gayle is halfway through collecting all the signatures needed to officially run against incumbent Neal Oakes.

She has set June 1 as her collection cutoff date.

Gayle Barts may be contacted at (434) 251-8510 or

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