We Trust Parents. It’s the phrase the National Coalition for Public School Options exists to further. We trust parents to do what’s best for their children and we believe our representatives should do the same.
Which is why the PSO family will be sad to see Delegate Dickie Bell from Virginia retire at the end of this year after a long and distinguished career. Delegate Bell was the first legislator to ever hold up one of our now-ubiquitous “I Trust Parents” sign and was always first in line to help students and parents.
While Delegate Bell’s legislative record includes many accomplishments for his district, his service to Virginia and to his community is unmatched. For example, Delegate Bell served his country for six years in the United States Navy.
His professional career was devoted to education as a high school special education teacher and a coach. Delegate Bell is an educator first and has never lost his motivation for fighting for all students. Anyone who knows Delegate Bell has heard him say a million times: Every child deserves the opportunity to learn – every child is gifted.
Delegate Bell didn’t say that just to get a headline or just to make a parent or a student feel good. It was a constant in his professional and political life because he believes it. He worked hard for students all across Virginia, not just the ones in his district or in the schools in which he taught.
And no one has championed virtual education more than Delegate Bell in Virginia. His dedication to ensuring that if a child, for whatever reason, could succeed using virtual education, then he wanted to make sure that form of education was available in Virginia. No doubt it was a tough fight and sometimes there were setbacks or even vetoes of his legislation. But that never stopped Delegate Bell. In fact, it made him fight even harder.
The National Coalition for Public School Options is pleased to have honored Delegate Bell with a School Choice Champion of the year award and hosted him at the annual PSO meeting in 2018.
“Dickie was one of our most persistent and effective advocates, never giving up on the hopes of thousands of Virginia families for expanded school choice options,” PSO President Tillie Elvrum said. “There’s no better friend to our families than Dickie and we wish him the absolute best in his well-earned retirement from the House of Delegates.”
In conclusion, thank you Delegate Bell for your dedication to education. But more importantly thank for your dedication to parents and students all across Virginia, who can learn in an environment that best works for them because of your hard work and leadership. You are an educator first and an educator always.