2018 Endorsed Candidates
At a meeting of the Virginia Beach Education Association Political Action Committee of Educators, the following candidates for Virginia Beach City Council and School Board were endorsed.
Endorsed Candidates for Virginia Beach School Board
Special Note for the At-Large Election: Please be sure to vote for BOTH endorsed candidates.
Dottie Holtz, At-Large
Dottie Holtz was elected to the School Board in November 2010. Holtz retired from VBCPS in 2008 after a 30-year career, serving as a teacher and computer resource specialist at Thoroughgood Elementary. In 2002 Holtz was named Thoroughgood Elementary's teacher of the year. Over the years she has been involved with organizations to include: the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Lynnhaven River NOW; Tidewater Arts Outreach; the Sierra Club; Virginia Organizing Project; League of Women Voters; Relay for Life and Salvation Army. Holtz is a lifetime member of the Virginia Beach Education Association She holds a bachelor's degree in education from Fordham University and a master's in elementary education, with a concentration in technology, from Old Dominion University. Holtz's three children graduated from VBCPS.
Sharon Felton, Beach District
Sharon Felton was elected to the School Board in 2014. She is a life-long resident of the city of Virginia Beach where she attended Seatack Elementary, Virginia Beach Junior High School and First Colonial High School. For years she served her community as an education advocate, helping parents and students successfully navigate through the education journey. She serves the community in several capacities to include: President of the South Norfolk District Deacon's Wives' Auxiliary; Seatack Community Civic League – 1st Vice President; Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Commission Member; Virginia Beach Black Law Enforcement Pioneers Committee Member (2nd Precinct project); Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission Member; Outreach Coordinator for New Hope Church of God In Christ’s Crusade Against Drugs and Violence; Norfolk 17 Historical Review Committee Member (Old Dominion University); and a former RSVP Volunteer for Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia. Felton earned her Bachelor of Science degree in History from Old Dominion University, and has been employed with Old Dominion University’s Perry Library for more than 30 years Her children attended VBCPS and her grandchildren are currently students in the system. Website: Sharon Felton for School Board
Bobby Melatti, At-Large
Bobby Melatti is the Vice President of Business Development for Integrated Management Group (IMGoing), the firm responsible for coordinating almost all of the entertainment at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Prior to this, Bobby served as program director for Live! On Atlantic. He has served on the Virginia Beach School Board and served on the City’s Arts and Humanities Commission, the Resort Advisory Commission, and several other city committees.
Bobby has a long-standing, life-long commitment to education. He received a Bachelor’s degree at the age of 60 and his Master’s degree at 68. All three of Bobby’s children are graduates of Virginia Beach City Public Schools and he now has a granddaughter that attends North Landing Elementary. Website: Bobby Melatti for School Board
Carolyn Rye, Lynnhaven District
Carolyn Rye has proudly represented the Lynnhaven District on the Virginia Beach School Board since her election in 2014. She serves as Chair of its Policy Review Committee, and is a four-year Audit Committee member. She graduated from the College of William & Mary as a Government major, with concentrations in history and mathematics, and teaching credentials in secondary education. She earned her MBA degree from Fairleigh Dickinson U., Madison, NJ. Her employment history includes: corporate trainer and group insurance management consultant, Prudential Insurance; private mathematics tutor; secondary classroom and substitute teacher. Her volunteer background is broad and varied: 15 years of PTA Board service (two-time President); St. Nicholas Catholic Church Pastoral Council; W&M regional alumni board; advisor to her campus sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma; National Fight Colorectal Cancer advocate. Website: Carolyn Rye for School Board
Kimberly Melnyk, Princess Anne District
Kim Melnyk was elected to the School Board in November 2014. She has lived in Virginia Beach for over 40 years and is a product of VBCPS, having attended Old Donation Elementary School, Brandon Middle School and Green Run High School. She graduated from Longwood University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and taught for VBCPS at Glenwood, Strawbridge and Christopher Farms Elementary Schools. Melnyk was appointed by City Council to the Vision to Action Community Coalition, serves on the Board of Directors for Virginia Musical Theatre and is a member of the Governor’s School for the Arts Regional Board. She is a mentor at Green Run Elementary School, volunteers with the VBCPS Beach Bag program and is a member of the Social Ministry Team at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. She and her husband, George, have three children, one of whom still attends VBCPS.
Endorsed Candidates for Virginia Beach City Council
Ben Davenport, Mayor
A native of Virginia Beach, Councilmember Davenport is a residential real estate broker. He is a product of the Virginia Beach Public School system and attended Trantwood Elementary, Great Neck Middle & Frank W. Cox High School. Davenport continues a long line of leadership in municipal government, beginning with his great-great grandfather and his great grandfather serving on the Princess Anne County Board of Supervisors, as well as his grandfather serving on the Virginia Beach City Council. His heritage is deep-rooted and he brings a lot of historical significance to the City Council. He leads the Hampton Roads Broadband Initiative which is credited with luring the first Trans Atlantic Subsea Cables in the Mid Atlantic Region in a partnership with Facebook, Telefonica & Microsoft. In addition he leads the effort to attract the data center industry to Hampton Roads earning the nickname “Broadband Ben”. He is currently working on creating a regional open access fiber network that can serve as a middle mile to new incoming ISP’s and is passionate about keeping Hampton Roads on the cutting edge of technology. He is the City Council liaison to the Beaches and Waterways Commission, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board, Military Economic Development Advisory Committee and The Planning Council. In addition to running his family business, he enjoys volunteering in the community. He and his family attend All Saints Episcopal Church.
Aaron Rouse, At-Large
Aaron was raised in Friendship Village within the historic Seatack community of Virginia Beach. He graduated from First Colonial High School and went on to attend Virginia Tech, playing football on a scholarship for the Hokies. Aaron graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech. After college, Aaron was drafted in the NFL to play for the Green Bay Packers.
After a successful career in the NFL, Aaron decided to return home to serve his community. He coached boys football at Virginia Beach Middle School, started a local non-profit to serve young students in need, and today serves as a mentor to many student athletes. Aaron’s grandfather served in the Army and taught him the principle of leadership by example – not to talk about change but to be the change.
Aaron plans to bring a new generation of leadership to City Council and provide a fresh voice to local government – one that lauds service and leadership and appreciates the full fabric of Virginia Beach. He wants to see his hometown become a model coastal city for all who live here and those that visit. Website: Aaron Rouse for City Council
John Uhrin, Beach District
Councilmember Uhrin was elected to the Virginia Beach City Council in 2006 and is now serving his third term on City Council. He grew up in a Navy family near Lynnhaven Mall, attended Brookwood Elementary, Plaza Junior High School and graduated from Kellam High School in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and finance from Old Dominion University. He started his career in the hospitality industry in high school, as a groundskeeper for the Schooner Inn. In 1991, he was named director of operations for Burlage Management and currently oversees the operation of multiple hotels at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Uhrin serves as City Council liaison to several organizations, including the Military Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Legislation Coordination Committee, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the Resort Advisory Commission, the Virginia Beach Audit Committee, Old Beach Design and Review Committee, the Towing Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Virginia Aquarium Foundation and the Dome Site and Rudee Loop projects. Website: John Uhrin for City Council
Barbara Henley, Princess Anne District
Barbara Henley is a native of Princess Anne County and am a lifetime resident of the current Princess Anne District. She is a graduate of Princess Anne High School. She and her husband have two sons and five grandchildren. Together, they own and operate their family farm, Henley Farm in Pungo. They are members of Charity United Methodist Church
She currently serves on the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and will represent the City of Virginia Beach on the committee being established to address the sea level rise issue in Hampton Roads. Other city committees and commissions for which she serves as council liaison are the Agricultural Advisory Commission, the Historical Review Board, the Green Ribbon Committee, the Bikes and Trails Advisory Committee, the Open Space Committee, the Mayors Commission on Aging, and the Transition Area/Interfacility Traffic Area Advisory Committee.
Barbara Henley is currently the President of the Princess Anne/Virginia Beach Historical Society. She has authored/co-authored two books, Charity, Its Past and Its People with Susan Flanagan, a history of our church established in 1789; and Glimpses of Down County History, a compilation of historical accounts of Southern Princess Anne County brought together in the local history component of the SRC which she leads.
Barbara has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Master of Urban Studies from Old Dominion University. Website: Barbara Henley for City Council
Dee Oliver, At-Large
Dee Oliver is the daughter of U.S. Navy Capt. Deon (Ret.) and Jacqueline Branch. As a fourth generation resident of Virginia Beach, Dee graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School and Virginia Wesleyan College where she received an undergraduate’s degree in Education and Art.
In 1984, she married John P. Oliver, Sr., President of H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., and the two worked together in the family funeral business while raising their three daughters. John died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2007. Despite the devastation of losing him, Dee continued to work at the funeral home while raising their three young children. She went back to school to earn her Mortuary Science and Embalming Degree. She also completed the required 3,000 hours of apprenticeship at Riddick Funeral Home in Norfolk
Currently, Dee serves as the vice chairperson of the Virginia Beach Planning Commission, a board member of the Virginia Beach Resource Home for the Homeless, the campaign chairperson of the Hospice House of South Hampton Roads, an executive committee member of the Hampton Roads Chamber - Virginia Beach division, and is a member of the Virginia Beach Garden Club and Galilee Episcopal Church.
In 2015, Dee married R. Boyd Melchor, attorney, and owner of Kelly’s Tavern(s) throughout Hampton Roads. They live in Virginia Beach with her three daughters. Website: Dee Oliver for City Council
Louis Jones, Bayside District
Mayor Jones was sworn into the Office of Mayor on May 1, 2018, following the resignation of Mayor Will Sessoms. He has served on the City Council for more than 30 years, representing the Bayside District. He previously served as Mayor from July 1, 1982 to June 30, 1984, and as Vice Mayor from November 1, 2001 to April 30, 2018. He is a member and former chairman of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. He is also a former chairman of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Mayor Jones serves as the City Council liaison to numerous panels including the Bayfront Advisory Commission, Lake Gaston Water Task Force, Oceana Land Use Conformity Committee, Southeastern Public Service Authority, and the Virginia Beach Development Authority.
He is president and owner of Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Inc. and Tidewater Cemetery Corporation. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary (Old Dominion University) and is a graduate of the Echols College of Mortuary Science. He serves on the Virginia State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers and is a member of Bayside Presbyterian Church. Website: Louis Jones for City Council
Jim Wood, Lynnhaven District
Vice Mayor Jim Wood, a four-term City Councilman, former police officer and current business owner, is running for re-election to the Lynnhaven District City Council seat.
Councilman Wood will focus on several important issues, including public safety, education and flood mitigation. As a former police officer, Wood understands the need to keep neighborhoods safe and has been a leader on safety issues, from increasing penalties for malicious attacks on pets and DUI offenses.
Jim Wood was appointed by the Virginia Senate to the Joint Subcommittee to Address Recurrent Flooding, an issue he will continue to address. Virginia Beach is among the top cities in the nations at risk for recurrent flooding due to stormwater impacts, and Wood will work for greater state involvement in funding solutions.
A strong believer in lifelong education, Councilman Wood recently earned a Master’s Degree in History, thirty years after earning a Bachelor’s Degree. “I’ve really become a passionate reader of history and pursued a Master’s Degree online, which was a great experience,” said Wood. “You never stop learning in life.” Website: Jim Wood for City Council
Sabrina Wooten, Centerville District
Sabrina Wooten is a native of Stuggart, Germany, but grew up in Hampton Roads and has lived in Virginia Beach for over 13 years. Her passions include combatting poverty and homelessness and protecting our natural resources and quality of life. Sabrina brings fifteen years of business, leadership and administrative experience in the private and non-profit sectors.
Sabrina is Vice Chair of the Minority Business Council and chairs the Outreach Committee and is a member of the Minority Awareness Committee (MAC). A consensus builder and Conflict Resolution Specialist, Mrs. Wooten also served as a Supreme Court Certified Mediator.
Sabrina is a member of the American Society for Public Administration and the National Association of Professional Women. An Administrative Pastor, Mrs. Wooten focuses on Strategic Outreach, World Missions and the Prison Ministry. Similarly, she serves as a Chaplain for the Virginia Beach Police Department.
A published author and lifelong learner, Sabrina earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Old Dominion University, a Master’s degrees in Business Management and Public Administration from Regent University. Currently, Sabrina is pursuing her PhD in Public Policy and Administration. Mrs. Wooten resides with her husband Donald and son, Ricardo in the local Virginia Beach area. Facebook: Sabrina Wooten for City Council