PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Reeve Ashcraft would like to be known as the most passionate member of the Prince George County School Board, not the youngest. While his passion ranking is yet to be determined, there is no debate that at 18-years-old, Ashcraft is the youngest winner to emerge from Election Night. Ashcraft, who graduated from Prince George High School in June, was among the top vote-getters in the Prince George School Board race. An outcome, he admitted, surprised him.
"These guys [the other candidates] are great people. They have strong families. When I found out I came in first, I was humbled beyond belief," Ashcraft, one of five school board members elected Tuesday night, said. "I think I go in there and learn the ropes. I've got to be determined to learn as much as possible, as fast as possible."
Ashcraft said he considered running for office weeks before graduation when he noticed the school board seemed disconnected from the students and school staff.
"I realized I wanted to be a positive change for the school system," he said. "I think I bring a perspective that is clearly the most unique to the board. I just graduated this past June. I understand a lot of the issues that we're facing, walking the halls, talking to students, talking to teachers."
If the Ashcraft name sounds familiar, it should. Reeve Ashcraft's father -- Percy Ashcraft -- leads Prince George County as County Administrator. Even though Reeve still lives at home with his parents, he does not foresee a conflict of interest when the school board goes to the county for money.
"There are going to be things that I want from the government as far as for them to fund, that they're not going to be able to do. I don't expect to get any special treatment," Reeve Ashcraft said.
The younger Ashcraft, who works as a server at Ruby Tuesday, said his relationship with dad could pave the way for better communication between the school board and county government.
"I have the ideas and the passion to build bridges," the Richard Bland College student said.
While in office, Ashcraft said he planned to improve transparency and communication between the school board and the community. He also wanted to work on revamping the school system's transportation department and pick apart the county's school budget to make sure money is being spent wisely.
"I'd rather people say this is the most passionate kid, rather than this is the youngest. But newspaper headlines are going to be newspaper headlines," he said.