Joining the long list of candidates for the Charles County Board of Education race is an engineer.
Jason Henry Sr., 39, of Indian Head is a senior desktop systems engineer for Inova Health System. His involvement with youth through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland and many years of experience as a basketball coach have fueled his interest in further working with children by running for the school board. Henry is one of 19 candidates who have filed for the school board race.
Henry said if elected he would expect that he and whoever else is elected would face issues including funding new schools, retaining teachers and staff, and hiring teachers and staff.
Henry has lived in Charles County his entire life and is a graduate of Henry E. Lackey High School. Henry has two sons, one of whom currently attends Lackey. His youngest son attends school outside of Maryland.
Aside from attending Lackey, he was the junior varsity basketball coach there in 1996.
Henry said currently the school system ranks high when it comes to academics.
He said he would work to "continue to improve the current school system."
His goals, if elected, would be to continue to make achievements with the No Child Left Behind Act and work to eliminate the achievement gap, the gap in test scores between African-American students and their white peers.
Henry said he would like to see more emphasis on getting students better prepared for the workforce after graduation as "some students cannot afford to go to college" or are just not "college material."
He also would like to see an evaluation system that will help identify and prepare students to be successful.
Henry said he enjoys working with and for children.
In 2006, Henry served on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland.
Currently, he travels around the area refereeing basketball games for boys and girls in various clubs. Henry said he is involved with the Charles County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and is the community chairman for the Maryland State Conference NAACP.
He is also a member of the African American Heritage Society of Charles County and the Black Caucus of Charles County and is involved with basketball officials' associations.