Re-elect Michael Otaigbe for School Board
Accomplishments of the Board:
Kindergarten in all schools.
of Governors’ School at Innovation Park.
stakeholder satisfaction rating.
to ensure school safety.
to reduce overcrowding.
retain qualified teachers.
input from parents.
the virtual High School.
Vote MICHAEL OTAIGBE for School Board
(703) 216 - 3941
Paid for by Michael Otaigbe for School Board
By Keith Walker
Michael Otaigbe is proud of the thing he’s
accomplished in his two terms on the Prince William County School Board, but
he’s not done yet.
Otaigbe is hoping for a third term and is
running again for the Coles District seat.
He said he is most proud of his role in
establishing the Governor’s School in cooperation with the Manassas and Manassas Park school systems and with George Mason University. The Governor’s School, at Innovation Park, is a high school for students interested in
advance science, technology, engineering and math classes. Otaigbe said programs akin to the Governor’s
School and Advance Placement classes would be critical to the future of the
“Companies look at the public school
system. They look at the speciality
programs, the AP programs and the Governor’s School program. They look at all that and they say “Yes we’re
going to establish our company in Prince William County. We have to take care of it by taking care of
the teachers. We have to make sure we
don’t lose our teachers to our competitors”, the 57-year old Otaigbe said.
Pay and working condition commensurate with
neighboring counties will keep teachers
in Prince William, said Otaigbe, who holds a bachelor’ degree from Strayer University, a master’s degree from Catholic
University and a doctorate from American University. Otaigbe said he promoted the Governor’s
School because space for advanced technology and science classes at Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County was limited.
“Every year I
see Prince William students apply to Thomas Jefferson High School and just a few of them are
selected.” Otaigbe said. “What happened to others equally dedicated
and smart? What happened to their dreams
of becoming mathematicians and scientists and becoming engineers?” said
Otaigbe, who visit area schools at least once a week to tell stories to
children. He said his storytelling is a
way to get students interested. Children, when you tell them “Let me advise you”, they tune out. When you tell them “ Let me tell you a story,
they say “Ooh, all right”, let me listen, he said. “ I believe it’s a wonderful
way to teach students morals and academic lessons”, said Otaigbe, a native of Nigeria who came to the United States in 1977and raised two daughters
who graduated from Hylton High School and a son who attends Osbourn Park High School. For the future, Otaigbe wants to build a
“standalone” virtual high school where Prince William students can learn
online. Otaigbe said the school system
offers some online classes now, but he
wants to expand. He said virtual high
schools are inevitable. “It’s not for
everyone, but I think that our children are very sophisticated in the digital
world. You have children who would take
the classes”, he said. “Kids are moving
forward whether we like it or not.” Otaigbe
said adults have to recognize that children will inhabit a different world than
their parents knew. “I consider myself
an immigrant in the digital world. They are natives, " he said of today's students.
The cost of new schools will also make virtual high schools attractive in the future," he said.
“We are not discovering more land in Prince
William. This is the future in
education,” he said.
Otaigbe, dean at the Woodbridge campus of Strayer University, said education is his
life and that he has the drive needed to continue on the school board and
“empower children to achieve.”
in my DNA. That’s all I do all day,” he
said. “ I like to finish what I have
started and I still have the passion and energy for education. I love being able to have an impact on future
generations, being able to serve as a
“ I believe
education is the key to achieving the American dream. The more we can encourage our children to do
that, the better our community will be,” he said.
Messenger, April 9, 2011