Service and Experience
Carolyn Rye brings a valuable breadth and depth of experience to her service and leadership on the Virginia Beach School Board from her professional roles and years of community service.
As a corporate trainer with Prudential Insurance, Carolyn designed and instructed group insurance training classes, earning recognition for complete overhaul of program curriculum and delivery. Quickly rising to the ranks of management, she directed the technical development of staff while accomplishing improvements in quality, productivity, and service. She fostered good policyholder relations with Fortune 500 group clients, observed and evaluated trainers, and served as departmental liaison to the corporate legal department.
Carolyn has applied her William & Mary teaching credentials in multiple professional positions and in a variety of capacities. She was hired for long-term semester teaching assignments in three area schools ( Norfolk Collegiate Middle School; Hebrew Academy; Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School), and a shorter term at Bayside High School, for subjects ranging from Geography and History to Math. She was a self-employed Mathematics tutor for thirteen years and employed by VBCPS from 2000-2014 as an intermittent substitute teacher. These experiences have offered a valuable lens into a range of school environments and teaching methods, and student diversity.
Carolyn claims 15 years of FSA/PTA Board service, chairing Executive Board committees at all four schools her children attended. She managed two parent-teacher organizations of five officers and up to 35 committee chairs, serving two-year terms as FSA President at North End School (Cedar Grove, NJ) and PTSA President at Ocean Lakes High School.
In both instances, she implemented improvements in organizational structure, financial accountability, membership, and family-school communication, while planning and conducting monthly meetings. Her restructuring and elevation of the high school GradFest chair position remains a citywide PTSA model to this day. She instituted programs and procedures as organization President that strengthened home-school partnership and encouraged parent-teacher collaboration. Under her tutelage, Ocean Lakes PTSA boasted the largest city increase in high school membership and earned for the first time national PTA Certificate of Excellence honors.
Carolyn served as a member of the National PTA Certification of Excellence Assessment Team, coordinated Reflections contests at two Virginia Beach schools (music, writing, visual arts and photography), and participated in a Group Focus draft of New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards. She established Parent-Teacher libraries at two schools, earning a VA PTA Award for Distinguished Service for her Kemps Landing Middle School efforts. As an Executive Board member of the Virginia Beach Council of PTAs, Carolyn coordinated all aspects of its annual year-end dinner for 500 members, administrators, and scholarship recipients/families.
Carolyn has served her alma mater in multiple volunteer leadership capacities over the course of many decades and prides herself on being a local Tribe Ambassador. Upon graduation, she founded and headed the College’s Northern New Jersey Alumni Chapter, which at the time served 1200 area alumni. In six years of board service for the South Hampton Roads Alumni Chapter (SHRAC), she established and chaired its Schools Committee– securing each spring W&M Leadership Award alumni presenters for 33 regional high school award assemblies, and coordinating a parallel chapter book gift program to award recipients. Both chapters were awarded numerous honors during Carolyn’s respective board tenures, including Outstanding Chapter.
Carolyn was a member of her 2012 Class Reunion Gift Committee, helping to surpass its original fund-raising goal. Up until recently, she served her campus sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) for a decade in a dual capacity, as both Membership and Recruitment advisor, and Chair of the chapter’s 12-member chapter Advisory Board.
Fight CRC educates and supports patients, pushes for policy change that will increase and improve research, and empowers survivors and others touched by colorectal cancer to raise their voices against the status quo.
Carolyn’s daughter Dana was diagnosed with colon cancer 13 years ago at age 24, just two years removed from her Middlebury College varsity field hockey player career. She remains healed and presently serves as Fight CRC Board of Directors Treasurer. Carolyn proudly works side by side with Dana as a national advocate, including storming the halls of Capitol Hill twice together as part of the group’s annual Call-on Congress.
Carolyn has served on her Pastoral Council at each of her two church parishes. At St. Nicholas, she headed a Capital Campaign Exploratory Committee and served as an integral member of the committee that managed the ultimate campaign. She also initiated Young Guard positions on Council and was a long time Christian Formation Committee member. At St. Catherine parish (Cedar Grove, NJ), she taught 4th-grade Religion for eight years.
In support of KKG’s national literacy mission, Carolyn has contributed to the efforts of her local Alumnae Association in securing donations for area school book drives, while also supporting local scholarship programs. Carolyn had the honor of being named “Greek Woman of the Year” by the local Tidewater Panhellenic Council in 2020.