Congrats Mr. Qarni

By: Ella Short

Former Beville Middle School civics teacher, Mr. Qarni has been appointed Secretary of Education, working under Virginia Govenor Ralph Northam. On December 21, 2017, I was lucky enough to be invited to a small press conference with a few of my fellow students. Mr. Northam was in attendance, along with several other officials from Prince William County and the VA government. Mr. Northam gave most of the address.

"He has done a remarkable job," Northam said, speaking of Mr. Qarni's time as a teacher.  Northam then continued to speak about education, how everyone deserves one of quality. That includes children who are disabled. He wants on focus on higher education for students, as well as improve early education. He also wishes to raise the pay for teachers and expand on career growth opportunities.

On a separate occasion, I asked Mr. Qarni a few questions about his new job. A quick interview over email, but it provided some major insight into his daily tasks.

Question One: What is it like to be working under Governor Ralph Northam?

Governor Northam is very humble. He makes everyone feel welcome and he values our opinions. I really enjoy working for him.

Question Two: What are some of your responsibilities around your office?

I meet with legislator, university presidents, superintendents, government agencies, education groups, businesses, etc. I also serve on various boards which provide funding and resources for variety of projects. I also visit many schools, colleges and universities.

Question three: Is your job mostly paperwork and office things, or is it a more hands-on job, where you get to interact with citizens?

I rarely do paperwork. Most of the times I am meeting with people.

Question Four: Do you have any plans as to what changes you would like to see in the Virginia school system?

I want a quality education for everyone that includes:

  1. Making sure college is affordable and accessible.
  2. Investing education that leads to more career paths other than going to college.
  3. Making sure kids stay in school.
  4. Making learning meaningful and fun for everyone.
  5. Working with school divisions to make sure they distribute funds fairly.
  6. Investing, retaining and attracting high quality teachers, nurses, school counselors, librarians, bus drivers, administrators, custodians, etc.
  7. Allowing more schools to do creative things, "out of the box" things, which help kids.
  8. And so many more....