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Meet the Board Members

​​​​Meet the Board Members

Kate Acuff, ChairKate Acuff
Jack Jouett Magisterial District

Kate Acuff, now in her second term, was first elected to the Albemarle County Public School Board in November of 2013, representing the Jack Jouett Magisterial District.  She was selected by the Board as its Vice Chair in 2015 and as Chair for the next three years.

Dr. Acuff brings a broad range of professional experience in law, public health, science and policy in the private, public and non-profit sectors to her service on the Board.  She has been a Board member of the University of Virginia Physicians Group (including two years as its Chair) and currently is President of the Board for Partner for Mental Health (formerly, Mental Health America-Charlottesville/Albemarle), a non-profit organization that provides mental health support to persons in the local community. 

Prior to her tenure on the School Board, Dr. Acuff  practiced law in Colorado and Washington, DC,  served as legal counsel to the District of Columbia’s Medical Assistance Administration, was Vice President of Policy and Education with the National Public Health and Hospitals Institute in Washington, DC, was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health  and a consultant to The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program in Atlanta. 

Upon moving to Charlottesville in 2007, Dr. Acuff served as a consultant to the Chair of the Virginia Supreme Court’s Commission on Mental Health Law Reform and also, with the Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition in Charlottesville.

Dr. Acuff is a strong advocate for providing schools with safe and healthy learning environments. In 2016 as School Board Chair, she led a public information campaign for the first school bond referendum in 40 years.  The referendum, which provided funds to reduce overcrowding in schools and to modernize older school buildings, was overwhelmingly approved by voters.  

Other of her priorities include expanding of teacher professional development programs and more competitive teacher compensation, an increase in full-time nurses in elementary schools, additional funding for student mental health services, closing the opportunity gap among students in the division’s 25 schools and a more collaborative working relationship between the School Board and the Board of Supervisors.    

Dr. Acuff received her M.S. in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Colorado, her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and her Ph.D. and M.P.H. in Public Health and Public Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.  

Contact Information

401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902

434.979.6333
kacuff@k12albemarle.org



Katrina CallsenKatrina Callsen
Rio Magisterial District

Coming from a family where both of her parents dropped out of high school, Katrina Callsen has an up close and personal perspective on the importance of one of the most significant issues in public education today—the compelling need to provide all students with full equity and access to learning opportunities.

It was a need that came up often at the doors of the thousands of constituents who were visited by Ms. Callsen during her 2017 campaign for the Rio Magisterial District seat on the School Board. Those conversations reinforced her belief that equity and access are not just terms that apply to families that face economic challenges; they apply to all families in which children face any one of a multitude of barriers to learning.

Ms. Callsen believes it is the role of the public education system to provide all children with clear pathways to educational and career success. She’s an example of that herself—having earned full scholarships to Yale University and the University of Virginia Law School. She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Yale and is a UVA Law School graduate.

Professionally, she used these opportunities to support children, representing their interests as a contributor to the University of Virginia Law Child Advocacy Clinic. She previously served as an intern in a Child Protection Unit and locally, has been a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for Children.

Her community service ethic extends to her family. Together with her two sons, she is active in Kids Give Back, a volunteer community service organization and her husband is a past volunteer with Computer for Kids.

By the way, Ms. Callsen’s mom later returned to school and earned her college degree. She’s now a teacher.

Contact Information

935 King William Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22901

860.753.1335
kcallsen@k12albemarle.org



Jason BuyakiJudy Le
Rivanna Magisterial District

Judy Le, the newly-elected representative on the Albemarle County School Board from the Rivanna Magisterial District, knocked on more than 1,000 doors during her campaign but there was one knock she will never forget.  Opening the door was a kindergarten teacher who spoke with unbridled enthusiasm and passion about her work with children.  Le described that conversation as a moving experience and a powerful statement about the positive difference education can make in the lives of all children.

It reminded her of her experiences as the young child of two Vietnamese immigrants who were English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers themselves.  “My parents instilled in me and my siblings how important public education and hard work would be to our success as adults and that certainly became true," she remembers. 

A journalist by trade, Le studied at one of the nation's top-ranked communications schools, Northwestern University.  Her early career experiences working for newspapers including the state's largest, the Virginian-Pilot, taught her a great deal about understanding the challenges faced by many communities.  She sharpened her skill for empathy and for the value of keeping people informed about issues important to their life.  Those experiences and the early childhood advice she received from her parents led to her interest in serving her community on the school board.

At the top of her priority list is providing equal educational opportunities to all public school students in the county.  “It's incredibly important to our future together," she says, and she adds, “it's the key to truly reducing the achievement gap.  These are the accomplishments, she adds that will empower all students to reach their highest academic and professional potential. 

Also high on her priority list will be the ideas offered by her constituents.  She learned during her campaign that the best strategy for understanding and connecting with those she will be serving is to listen intently to their ideas, concerns and suggestions for the future.  Among those she will be representing on the School Board is her own child, one of the division's elementary school students.  

Contact Information

401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902

434.326.8315
jle@k12albemarle.org​



Graham PaigeGraham Paige, Vice-Chairman
Samuel Miller Magisterial District

Graham Paige was elected on November 3, 2015 to fill the unexpired term of Eric Strucko in the Samuel Miller District.  That term extends to December 31 of 2017.

Paige is well known to many residents of the district from his 24 years of service as a science teacher at Western Albemarle High School and Jack Jouett Middle School.  He has been a member of several advisory boards for the school division, helping to select school principals, review long-range capital program plans and determine how schools and communities can benefit one another.  He also tutors children at Yancey Elementary School, is an active participant in the work of the Piedmont Housing Alliance and on behalf of New Green Mountain Baptist Church.

Paige counts as the most helpful and enjoyable part of his campaign, the opportunity to meet with so many members of the Samuel Miller District and to talk with them about the issues in education that are at the top of their list.  His focus as a Board member is to support improvements in the quality of education provided to students and providing parity among all students in the quality of education they receive, ensuring that Albemarle is able to attract, develop and maintain excellent teachers and to continue building strong partnerships between schools and the communities they serve.

A lifelong resident of the Esmont community, Paige is a graduate of Hampton University and received his master’s in education from the University of Virginia.

Contact Information

7314 Porters Road
Esmont, VA 22937

434.286.3639
434.981.1574
gpaige@k12albemarle.org



Stephen KoleszarEllen Osborne
Scottsville Magisterial District

For Ellen Osborne, newly-elected to represent the Scottsville Magisterial District on the Albemarle County School Board, public service has been a lifelong professional commitment.  Currently the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle, she leads an organization that closely works with more than 400 adults each year to improve their reading, writing and English language skills.  Its mission statement notes that “ the ability to read, write, and communicate is critical to adults to fully realize their potential as individuals, parents, and citizens."

Osborne also serves on the Virginia Department of Education's Adult Education and Literacy Advisory Committee.  The committee includes representatives from state colleges and universities, the private sector and the General Assembly.  The committee makes recommendations to the state Board of Education on how to enhance the quality and effectiveness of adult education and literacy programs and services throughout Virginia.

That's a close fit with the strategic goal of the Albemarle County Public Schools division, which is to ensure that every student graduates “having actively mastered the lifelong-learning skills they need to succeed as 21st century learners, workers and citizens."

“Fostering lifelong learning," she says, “is among the most valuable of gifts from our public schools.   As a proud parent of two members of the Monticello High School Class of 2020, Osborne points out she “has a personal appreciation of how important this gift is to children and their future," she said. 

It's also one of a number of priorities for Osborne as she begins her four-year term on the School Board. 

“Our division has begun to make some progress in narrowing the achievement gap.  We need to increase the rate of our progress and that includes continuing to expand the diversity of our teaching core. I also would like to see as wide a range as possible of course selections in career and technical education," Osborne said.

An important component of her public service is opening her door wide to community input as the school division makes decisions about budget, the learning environments offered to students and its connections to parents and community partners.

An East Carolina undergrad, Osborne received a Master's Degree in Fine Arts from Louisiana State as well as a Master's Degree in Non-Profit Studies from the University of Richmond.​


Contact Information


401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902

434.249.3295
eosborne@k12albemarle.org​




David ObergDavid Oberg
White Hall Magisterial District

Attorney David Oberg was elected on November 3, 2015 to represent the White Hall Magisterial District on the Albemarle County Public School Board.

A native of Kenai, Alaska, Dave’s professional career has stretched from the far western reaches of his home state to the suburbs of New York City and now south to Virginia.  He won his first case as a “contract lawyer” in the sixth-grade, representing the loser in a ping pong match.  From there, he has gone on to successfully represent many of the nation’s leading corporations and now has a practice in Crozet, specializing in civil litigation and employment law.

Dave made no secret during his campaign for the School Board that among the issues he is most passionate about is the heavy influence that standardized testing has on how education is delivered to students.  He strongly supports project-based learning, which focuses on the development and application of skills that support a child throughout their lifetime.  During his campaign, he talked a great deal about the importance of empowering teachers to be thoughtful and creative in the classroom, freed from having to “teach to a test.”

Both Dave and his wife, DJ, long have had an interest in the law and in education.  Both have clerked for judges in their careers and DJ served for two years as the President of the school division’s Parent Council.  Their daughter Kendra attends Henley Middle School, where DJ now serves on the PTO Board.

Contact Information

920 Braeburn Street
Crozet, VA 22933

434.981.1160
doberg@k12albemarle.org

 



Jonno AlcaroJonno Alcaro, Chairman
At-Large

Jonno Alcaro is in his second term as Chair of the Albemarle County School Board, having first been chosen by his peers as Chair in January of 2019.  He was first elected to the Board as its at-large representative in 2015 and was re-elected in November of 2019.

A highly successful financial professional for more than three decades, he has a deep personal appreciation for the value of public education.  His dad was the first person in the Alcaro family to obtain both a college degree and a medical degree. His mom went back to school after Jonno graduated and she earned two master’s degrees and a PhD. at the age of 75.  She published her first book at the age of 79 and taught and lectured for many years thereafter.

High on Jonno’s priority list for the next four years is continuing to work to eliminate achievement gaps among students, most particularly those that impact African-American, Latino and special needs student communities and building on the division’s Anti-Racism policy and its Equity programs to promote equal educational opportunities for all students and to develop stronger and more collaborative relationships among all demographic groups in the school division and community.  He is a champion of innovative career preparation programs that position students for long-term success for the next several decades and of school division operations and investments that are environmentally responsible and sustainable.   

Jonno grew up in Morristown, New Jersey and earned his B.A. (Government) in 1974 and a M.B.A. in 1976 from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.  He spent the next 34 years in the western part of the country before relocating to the Charlottesville area in 2010.

Jonno lives with his wife and daughter (who graduated from Western Albemarle High School in 2018) in Crozet.


Contact Information

6403 Rivendell lane
Crozet, VA 22932

434.906.9300
jalcaro@k12albemarle.org

 



Contact the entire School Board by e-mail at schoolboard@k12albemarle.org.​​​​​​​

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