VINTON–Tim Greenway will take over the Vinton seat on the Roanoke County School Board after the election on November 3. He is running unopposed for the position currently held by Mike Altizer, who was appointed to the board when Mike Stovall resigned in September 2014. He will be sworn in when the election is certified. His term will end on December 31, 2017.
Greenway is a lifelong resident of the Vinton/Bonsack/East Roanoke County area. He graduated from William Byrd High School in 1982 and went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Radford University in 1986.
Greenway and his wife Paula have three children who graduated from Vinton schools. His son Brad returned to Vinton to teach first at William Byrd Middle School and now at William Byrd High school, where he also coaches girls’ varsity basketball and boys’ baseball. The Greenways have one granddaughter and are awaiting the birth of another grandchild in 2016. His wife is a photographer with her own business, PG Photography.
Greenway worked for many years at Cycle Systems in Roanoke as a controller before deciding to start his own business in 1995. He is involved in real estate in various ways with Greenway Construction, Inc., Advantage Realty ( as a real estate agent), and in property management and investment property. Most of his work is concentrated in the Vinton/East Roanoke County/Bedford area, but he does branch out in other areas from time to time. His office is located on Lee Avenue in downtown Vinton.
He is a member of the Vinton Host Lions Club and of Vinton Baptist Church, where he has served on the property committee, on the finance committee multiple times, and as a deacon. He is also a member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization and serves on the board of The Advancement Foundation non-profit.
Greenway believes that his business and accounting background will serve the board well.
In announcing his run for office Greenway said, “I want to serve on the Roanoke County School Board to make sure the Vinton District has the strongest voice possible in the future. I feel my business background can only strengthen and help the board in making future financial decisions. My accounting background on budgets, cash flows and financial projections will help our board be fiscally responsible. My construction background can help the board in future real estate projects and maintenance issues.”
“Perhaps my most important reason for running for office is that I am at a point in my life where I feel I have been blessed by God in so many ways and have an opportunity and obligation to give back to my community,” added Greenway.
While this is his first run for public office, he has been encouraged by members of the community to run for office for many years.
Greenway stated that he wants to work together with the other Roanoke County districts “to listen to our communities and their concerns to find solutions to our problems and to help improve our education system. Roanoke County residents are blessed to have a wonderful school system which we need to continually strive to improve in order to give our children a world class education and opportunities. It has helped me get where I am and I am grateful for that.”
Greenway has been attending school board meetings on a regular basis since announcing his candidacy in April. His purpose has been to “learn how the School Board works and what issues they are facing” before taking office. He said it has been a “good dose of reality.”
He said that one fear that the school board had at the end of the last school year was that they would lose funding from the state because of declining enrollments especially from the relocation of several corporations in the Valley, including Norfolk and Southern, but early indications are that enrollments seem to be holding steady, at least in the Vinton area.
Greenway said he has realized through listening to reports on federal, state, and local testing that there are requirements which must be met and are beyond local control.
He will be meeting leaders from across the state at the Virginia School Board Association meeting in Williamsburg in November with School Board member Jerry Canada from the Hollins district.
Greenway participated in the recent Roanoke County Council of PTA’s Forum to address the issues along with school board candidates from other Roanoke County districts. When asked to name the top issue facing county schools, Greenway identified “declining dollars from the state” as one of his top concerns, along with the need to increase teacher pay in order to be competitive with other surrounding localities.
“We’re becoming a training ground for other localities,” he said. “We need to bring our salaries up to speed with our counterparts.”
Greenway said he is also interested in expanding the programs at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT), which offers a range of programs in the arts, broadcasting, computer technology, and engineering, but also trade and industrial education, along with training in health fields.
He believes that a college education may not be what all students need or want, and may not match the needs of modern society, so career and technical education should be available to enable students to learn a trade or skill. That could be accomplished by establishing satellites for some of the BCAT programs, or even establishing relationships with Carilion or Lewis Gale for training in the medical field.
As for the Vinton schools specifically, Greenway said that the Vinton District has three of the four Title I schools in the district–Herman L. Horn, Mount Pleasant, and W.E. Cundiff—and he would like to see some efforts by the school board to address the special concerns those school populations encounter, such as the potential need for smaller class sizes and teacher/student ratios.
He also believes it is time for some updates to the Vinton area schools. A complete facilities study is underway by the school system. While many county schools have had total makeovers and new schools have been built, some of the Vinton schools are aging and need some improvements made to insure all county students have the same opportunities.
With three children who have graduated from WBHS, Greenway said that he believes they all received good educations in the Vinton schools which enabled them to be “ready for college.” With his son being a teacher and coach in the county system, Greenway said he understands the demands on teachers, whose workdays may sometimes extend from 7 a.m. until 10 at night.
As for the current strengths of Roanoke County Schools, Greenway said the administration and staff are “some of the finest you will ever meet.” He complimented the board and the administrators for the “great hires” they have made over the years.
His philosophy is that the school board should lead, but should let the administrators they have hired do their work unencumbered. He considers the school board to be the board of directors of a company, the staff is the company itself, and the parents and students are the stakeholders.