Katie is running for Delegate because she got frustrated when she called our current state legislator and received no response. She believes we need a Delegate who will listen and respond to us and represent our needs. That's why she'll hold regular town hall meetings and publish her telephone number so she can easily be reached - to get our input on education, small businesses and jobs, and making sure we get our fair share of tax dollars back from the state.
Katie was born in 1980 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where her father was stationed during his medical residency. Katie and Mark Cyphert, a maintenance mechanic at Lynchburg College, have been married for eight years. Their daughters are 7 and 3.
In 2002 she graduated from Lynchburg College with a BS in psychology/special education.
Katie went to work at fourteen, first as a babysitter and camp counselor and during college as a dishwasher, server, and manager in several local restaurants. In 2002 she began her teaching career at E.C. Glass High School. At first she taught students with multiple disabilities; later, she focused on learning disabilities. Her special education training took her into many different classrooms.
After six years at Glass, Katie was recruited by Horace Mann, an educator-oriented insurance company. Studying on her own, she quickly gained multiple certifications and began selling automobile, homeowners, and life insurance policies. “I’ve sat down with widows to fill out death claim paperwork and helped people decide whether they can afford to retire,” she says. She continues to use her expertise in retirement planning as a licensed producer for the local Horace Mann agent. In 2013 she took on a second job, returning to the classroom to teach earth science to eighth-graders at Linkhorne Middle School.
Katie’s commitment to education is evident in her volunteer work. Past president of the Lynchburg Education Association and current chair of marketing and public relations for the Linkhorne Elementary School PTO, she has also served on the boards of Friends of Rivermont and Young Professionals of Central Virginia and has volunteered for Read Across America Day and many other community projects. She participated in the Community Dialogue on Race and Racism and, in 2007, attended Lynchburg’s Citizens Academy. The following year she volunteered in the City Registrar’s Office.
In Katie’s view, the responsibilities of citizenship include energetic and sometimes outspoken political activity. Her first experience as a political volunteer was in Republican Delegate Preston Bryant's primary campaign in 2005. Since then she has volunteered for Independent candidates in two City Council races. “I've showed up at School Board or City Council when I felt something needed to be said," she says.
Katie helps with Sunday School at Unity in the Seven Hills.
Economy, Jobs, and Education
Source: Cyphert (10/27/2013)
Open and Responsible Government
Katie first got involved in this race because she felt our current elected officials were not listening. After years in office our politicians tend to become complacent and start working for lobbyists, not for us. We live in a district where we have not elected a new Delegate for nearly 2 decades and have not had a choice in an election for 12 years. It is time to make a change. Katie plans to be an accountable and responsive legislator, she will hold regular town hall meetings and will respond to each inquiry into her office whether you agree with her stances or not.
Katie knows that government does not create jobs, but instead helps to foster an environment for the private sector to create jobs and ensures that the rights of people to make their own educated choices in our free market are protected; we need less government in our lives, not more. Katie has years of experience in the Financial Services Industry; therefore, she knows the challenges of making a living and providing for her family through uncertain economic times. As your representative in Richmond Katie will make it her top priority to attract employers to Central Virginia and make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses in our region.
Katie also wants to ensure that Virginia companies get the first crack at state contracts so our tax dollars create jobs here, not in China or Mexico.
Katie is passionate about education, and with nearly a decade of experience teaching in local schools she knows what works and what doesn’t in our education system. Investments in education are investments in workforce development. A high quality education produces a high quality work force, which is attractive to potential employers and fosters entrepreneurship in the next generation. Katie is clearly the most qualified choice for education, which is why the Virginia Education Association, as well as educators across the district, enthusiastically support her campaign.
Katie believes firmly that our schools should stay in local control; the state takeover, or OEI, plan supported by the incumbent bypasses local boards of supervisors, school boards, and parents, representing an unprecedented state government intrusion into local control of schools and tax dollars.
The SOLs provide valuable data on the instructional needs of students, but the high stakes testing has got to be scaled back. Katie believes in high standards for our students, but localities must have the flexibility to implement a variety of educational programs to meet the needs of the workforce.
2nd Amendment Rights
Katie grew up in a home where responsible gun ownership was taught at [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]