About the Race
The election for the Rose Hall seat on the Virginia Beach School Board occurs on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the general election. One-term incumbent and child welfare curriculum developer Jessica Owens is running against Joanna Moran, a local corrections officer. This race is nonpartisan.
About the District
Rose Hall is located in the center of the city, and borders the Beach district. Virginia Beach is an independent city located in Hampton Roads on the southeastern coast of the Commonwealth. It is the most populous city in Virginia, with a population of 1.2 million. Virginia Beach is politically split and is considered a toss-up. Donald Trump won the city with 48% of the vote, to Hillary Clinton’s 44%, in 2016. However, in 2018, Democrat Elaine Luria earned 51% of the vote in her election to Congress.
School Board member Jessica Owens is a former child advocate who worked with Virginia’s Child Protective Services. She worked as a child forensic investigator with the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Owens currently works for the Virginia Department of Social Service as a child welfare curriculum developer. She was first elected to the Virginia Beach School Board in 2019 and is seeking re-election to serve her first full term on the Board.
Owens is most concerned with addressing the disparity in school discipline in Virginia Beach schools. She is also worried about teacher pay and the quality of special education in the city.
Owens supports a virtual start to learning in the fall for Virginia Beach, which has one of the highest case rates of COVID-19 in the state.
Owens has been an advocate for trauma-informed practices in school board policy and teacher training. She believes teachers must be aware of how to deal with students who have experienced trauma or abuse.
Owens has been endorsed for her run for School Board by the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee.
Joanna Moran, Owens’ opponent, is a correctional officer and has not put forward a substantial platform for her candidacy. However, she has made several posts supporting other conservative school board candidates in the city, such as Luis Cortes and Vicky Manning.
Jessica Owens is a progressive choice for this race.