In the spring of 2017, a group of concerned parents and citizens met in a Virginia Beach living room. The group consisted of men and women from all walks of life – teachers, lawyers, businessmen, law enforcement, and full-time work-at-home parents. This group decided that our voices were not being heard in the Virginia Beach Public Schools and determined to make those voices heard.
Each group member either currently has children in or has children who have graduated from the Virginia Beach School system. Each member dedicated him or herself to making VBCPS the best in the nation for our children and the ones who come after. The meetings and determination became an organization that is now called VB SPARK.
Meet the Leadership
Ray Cheng, President
Dr. Cheng has lived in Virginia Beach for over 20 years, and has three children in VB Schools. His wife volunteers at each of their children's schools. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia. He has 15 years of experience in executive management of information technology companies, and 15 years of experience teaching at the collegiate level. He is currently a math professor at Old Dominion University. Professor Cheng’s background in both business and higher education brings a distinct perspective to SPARK.
Karen Blythe, Second Vice‑President
Ms. Blythe was born and raised in the Tidewater area. She works in Occupational Therapy, with experience in pediatric critical care and special education. She grew up with a mother who was a teacher for 43 years. Ms. Blythe is very active in her community. She is currently a Deacon at her church, First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk and volunteers with the soup kitchen, ALS, and Special Olympics. VB Spark is an exciting part of her life-long passion to improve the lives of kids through education. It is focused on the responsibilities and needs that lie with the child, parents and teachers. That is what cannot only change our city, state and country but the world. It only takes one spark to light a fire!
Dane Blythe, Treasurer
Mr. Blythe is a native to the Tidewater area and received a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. He is the former Chairman of the Virginia Beach Taxpayer Alliance and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Commission. His financial expertise and knowledge of City of Virginia Beach operations are assets to VB SPARK. He currently works as a Biopharmaceutical Representative, is an active member of his church, and a respected leader in the Virginia Beach community.
Kendra Edwards, Director
Nancy Nelson, Director
Stacy Saville, Director
Cole Werkheiser, Director