A former Peace Corps volunteer and teacher, Carolyn Young is a candidate for the District 5 seat on the Lancaster County School Board in November.
A native of St. Louis, Young graduated from high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., before attending Vanderbilt University and earning a bachelor’s in philosophy. She also studied at the International Christian University in Japan, Georgetown University, Providence College and San Diego State University. She can often be recognized on her four or five mile walks around Irvington.
Young has been selected to participate in the 2017-18 Lead Northern Neck/Visions leadership forum. This program connects area leaders by training them in a year-long program to help each network and further community and economic development in Lancaster and neighboring counties.
Young and her husband Bill, a retired U.S. Navy captain, have lived in Irvington nearly 14 years. During their 30 years as a Navy family, they lived in Florida, California, Rhode Island, Bermuda, Japan and Virginia. They have three adult children and nine grandchildren, four of whom are Tanzanian and in the process of being adopted.
Her daughter is a high school counselor in Charlottesville, and the sons and their spouses are foreign service officers with the U.S. Agency for International Development, currently serving in Egypt and Tanzania. “My father was a foreign service officer in South Korea and South Vietnam. He was evacuated during the final days of the war. My grandfather worked in China before the revolution,” added Young.
“The Navy gave me the opportunity to be a parent and teacher in many excellent school systems, coast to coast and overseas. I have more than 19 years of experience teaching high school and college math. That, alongside over 20 moves,” Young said.
“My life experiences have given me the belief that each of our students should graduate from Lancaster High School with either a job or a letter of acceptance for further study. To make this happen, our career and technical and academic programs should be accessible to all students within our Lancaster schools, and the Lancaster County community should open up opportunities for apprenticeships to further a real workplace experience. A contractual relationship between students and LMS and LHS would ideally begin in 7th grade.”
While her husband was a volunteer assistant coach for the LHS basketball team, Young was the team tutor. She tutored in both math and SAT/ACT preparation for nearly a decade in the high school.
After Bill’s retirement from the U.S. Navy, Young and her husband taught three years at Christchurch School. She explained what followed: “Our youngest son announced at Christmas that he and his girlfriend were planning to be married immediately after graduation and to go into the Peace Corps. Surprised and intrigued by the news, we drove to William and Mary the very next day for a scheduled Peace Corps presentation to its graduating students. They practically signed us up on the spot. Older volunteers were being enthusiastically recruited,” Young said.
Young taught high school English in Lutsk, Ukraine, and worked with her husband, who coached the first ever girls’ softball team in the western part of the country.
“Governor Terry McAuliffe’s niece was also a Peace Corps volunteer at the time and was part of the coaching staff,” she said.
After moving to the Northern Neck, Young became active in many community activities. An elder at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church, Young is moderator of both the Agape Endowment Fund and the Personnel Committee. She is co-moderator of Missions. She served on the board of directors of The Link for three years and is a current member of its Advisory Committee.
Young’s work with the Agape Fund and The Link gave her the opportunity to help in the development of the Lancaster County Public School Volunteer Coordinator Program. She and her husband worked with the middle school principal on a prototype a year earlier than the school system’s Volunteer Coordinator Program was initiated. “Director Sandy Armstrong tapped us as her advisory committee,” said Young.
The Agape Fund is funding a new robotics program at the middle school and high school as well as the Early College Academy, a partnership between Rappahannock Community College and LHS.
“Our Lancaster County Public Schools and the community itself are anchored together and will grow together. Many of our residents are anxious to join in the new efforts of the School Board and Board of Supervisors by volunteering their own career skills, workplace experiences, scientific and other academic expertise, and journalistic or theater arts talents. Let’s swing the doors open both ways and together our schools and our citizens will find real pride in ownership,” she said.