As a tumultuous year of school closures and virtual learning inches toward a close, students in Fairfax County Public Schools say they are exhausted and feel forgotten by the administration and school board.
Their frustrations bubbled over during a school board meeting on Dec. 3. Two students took issue with recent headlines about upticks in failing grades and the board’s focus on how to resume in-person classes over how to improve the distance-learning experience.
John R. Lewis High School student Kimberly Boateng, who previously served as the school board’s student representative, chastised the board, saying its members have not demonstrated that they have turned the comments and criticisms she has submitted by letter, email and tweet into action.
She urged the county to do better, saying that she is tired of “aspirational goals” and wants the board and FCPS administrators to take concrete actions.
“I’m tired of the ‘we see you’ emails, the ‘we hear you’ tweets,” she said. “…Students are surrounded by so much grief, trauma, and death, and we are expected to continue on as if this is normal. This is not normal.”
As the board’s current student representative, South County High School student Nathan Onibudo said he is caught between knowing the extent of the county’s efforts to address the challenges caused by COVID-19 and experiencing the reality of student life.
“I see what’s possible and I see the hard work being put in,” he said. “[Many students] feel like somehow, they’re being forgotten even though all the conversations are about them.”
He told the school board that, for many students, the debate over whether they should learn virtually or in-person has become secondary to the struggle to survive each day.
“Students are simply suffering,” he said.
Boateng echoed that sentiment, saying that she feels unable to take a mental health day because it would bury her deeper under tasks.
“Students are sitting in front of their computer screens wondering when they’re going to catch a break, and the break never comes,” she said.
During an open comment period later in the school board meeting, FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand and a handful of board members promised to take action.
“Nathan, I heard you. Our leadership team heard you, our principals heard you, our staff heard you,” Brabrand said. “Kimberly, I sat with you here last year. I heard you. We want your voice and your input as we continue through this year, and we will use your recommendations to make the changes necessary to be sure students are heard, listened to, respected, valued.”
Mount Vernon District Representative Karen Corbett Sanders noted the board is also hearing about the impact of the pandemic on the county’s school children from parents, parent-teacher associations, neighbors, and relatives.
Springfield District School Board Member Laura Jane Cohen told the students that the board is “trying to get better answers.”
“I know sometimes it rings hollow, but please, hang in there and just know that we’re trying to make things better right now,” Cohen said.
Driven by the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, 8,959 students left Fairfax County Public Schools this school year with elementary school students, particularly kindergarteners, representing the most withdrawals.
About 87% of the students who left are in elementary school, and of those, 2,208 students would be kindergarteners, according to a Membership Trends Report presented to FCPS School Board members last Wednesday (Nov. 4). This report is used to inform the school board’s capital improvements planning process.
Transfer rates to other public schools in Virginia and the U.S. are on par with previous years, but FCPS has seen new spikes in students who transferred to private schools in Fairfax County or who switched to homeschooling.
“Right now, this is an unprecedented time, and it is reflected in the data we have,” Jeffrey Platenberg, the FCPS assistant superintendent of facilities and transportation services, said. “We have a lot going on and we don’t know how to proceed forward until we get this pandemic under control. To do anything during this time might not be recommended by the wisest of folks, because the data reflects such a marked difference from last year.”
If the dip in enrollment is temporary, FCPS will see a bubble in kindergarten next year that will roll through Fairfax County for the next 12 years, according to Superintendent Scott Brabrand.
“You have to do some things differently in our facilities for the next decade,” he said.
School board members and FCPS staff are already bracing for kindergarten enrollment to surge both when FCPS welcomes them back to school on Nov. 16 and for the next academic year starting in the fall of 2021.
That influx is a source of concern for school principals, Springfield District School Board member Laura Cohen says.
“Short-term and long-term kindergarten problems, how are we going to solve this?” Cohen asked.
Brabrand said FCPS is “overstaffed in kindergarten” because it acquired staff in the spring, when attendance had not yet taken a hit, rather than in late summer, when the hiring pool is much smaller.
“I know people don’t want to hear the ‘t-word’ of trailers, but we’re going to have some space challenges at those schools,” he said.
The remaining membership decreases were more modest, with 217 middle school students, 392 high school students, 356 center and alternative program students, and 165 students in other programs.
Yearly, FCPS sees thousands of students leave for public schools in other states, but the number of students who instead chose to homeschool or attend a private religious or secular school in the county this year is out of the ordinary.
Nearly 1,900 left to be homeschooled this year, up from 264 last year. About 1,100 left for a private religious school in Fairfax County, and 713 for a non-religious private school, up from 296 and 237 last year, respectively.
“When you look at those who have chosen [private schools], there is a significant increase over the prior year,” Platenberg said. “That’s pretty informing why families chose to withdraw from FCPS.”
Of the five FCPS regions, the largest withdrawal rates come from Region One, which has schools in Herndon, Reston, Vienna, and the Langley area of McLean, and Region Three, which encompasses the area south of the city of Alexandria.
“I’m concerned when I look at some of these numbers at our high school level,” At-Large School Board Member Rachna Sizmore Heizer said.
She said schools with high rates of students who qualify for free- and reduced-price meals are seeing higher enrollment drops from last year to this year. She asked staff whether these changes are due to students not logging in and dropping out.
“We really are tracking that very carefully,” Deputy Superintendent Francis Ivey said.
This is not the first time schools with higher levels of families below federal poverty lines have been impacted by current events, Platenberg said.
“We’ve seen those trends with economic changes and changes in administrations, lags and shifts that occur,” he said.
Photo via FCPS
Reston Named Hottest Neighborhood for Home Sales –Reston was named one of the hottest neighborhoods in the greater Washington area. The community came in at number 15, with a median sale price of $561,200, a roughly eight percent change over 2019. [Washington Business Journal]
Fairfax County Underwater Search Practice at Lake Newport Pool — Reston Association is working with the Fairfax County Police Department’s underwater search and recovery unit for training at the pool. FCPD conducts similar training about once a month. [Reston Today]
School Board to Discuss Metrics for Reopening — Fairfax County Public Schools’ Superintendent Scott Brabrand will offer update his team’s development of health and operational metrics to determine when in-person instruction will resume. The meeting begins today (Tuesday) at 4 p.m. [FCPS]
Photo via Marjorie Copson
Updated at 10:45 a.m. — Corrects reference to Lake Braddock Secondary School.
As the Fairfax County public school system prepares for the fall, some teachers’ unions are expressing concern about how safe in-person learning might be during the pandemic.
To accommodate both families and teachers, FCPS asked both groups to fill out a form by July 10, stating whether they would prefer to stick with a distance learning plan or return to the classroom. After this date, many teachers will find out if they will be required to return or stay at home.
Though teachers are allowed to request a full-time remote-learning position, this cannot be guaranteed according to the current plan.
“Teacher placements will be contingent upon student enrollment numbers in the online program; teacher placement decisions will be tiered by individual teacher’s medical need, family medical need, and preference,” FCPS documents said.
Additionally, teachers with medical conditions that increase the risk of COVID-19 will be given “flexible leave and telework assignments,” the plan said.
David Walrod, who teaches 7th grade at Lake Braddock Secondary School, said as a member of the teacher’s union that he wishes teachers would get of choice of whether or not they work remotely.
“Personally I’m hoping that I get a remote position because personally I don’t feel that they will be able to keep schools as safe as they think they are,” he said, adding that he is also concerned for his own young daughter.
“Our educators are overwhelmingly not comfortable returning to schools. They fear for their lives, the lives of their students and the lives of their families,” Tina Williams, the president of Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, said in the press release.
At the school board meeting last Tuesday (June 23), the board members discussed various concerns and options for reopening.
Melanie Meren, the Hunter Mill District representative on the board, spoke on behalf of teachers during the meeting. “We cannot skimp on [personal protective equipment],” she said. “We need to advocate for that if we don’t have the funds.”
Not everyone will be satisfied with whatever is ultimately decided, Karl Frisch, who represents the Providence District, told his fellow board members.
Frisch said that he’s spent almost 100 hours with local families, community members and stakeholders discussing options for the upcoming school year. “There is no perfect solution to this problem,” he said. “We must consider any contingency that may come and meet us.”
FCPS officials have said that input from local health and state health officials will inform reopening plans.
Superintendent Scott Brabrand told the school board earlier this month that he is worried about the realities of social distancing in schools and wants to prevent staff from resigning over safety concerns.
FCFT’s press release called for teachers and educators in the county to speak up about their concerns.
Walrod said that he hopes Fairfax County will adopt a new model like the one for a school district in Pennsylvania where all students and staff will be working and learning remotely for 75 days into the school year until the school board members have a clearer understanding of COVID-19.
Walrod said that there is a chance parents will overwhelmingly want their kids to take advantage of distance learning so there will be less of a demand for in-person lessons.
Kimberly Adams, the president of the Fairfax Education Association, said in a press release that the group is advocating for remote learning until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is available.
“All staff should be provided the ability to continue virtual instruction as long as there is community spread of this virus,” Adams said. “We will continue to make every possible effort to assist FCPS in developing a plan that keeps health and safety first.”
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) unveiled its proposed fiscal year 2021-25 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) last week.
In November, Fairfax County voters approved a $360 million school bond referendum that includes $2 million in planning funds for a new “Silver Line elementary school,” along with other construction and renovation projects.
“Funds approved in the 2019 School Bond Referendum and previous referenda will address approximately $500 million of the five-year requirement, leaving a balance of approximately $573 million unfunded,” according to FCPS.
For the new Silver Line elementary school, permitting would happen in FY 2022, with permitting in FY 2023 and construction from FY 2024-2026, according to the CIP draft.
The revised budget estimates the Silver Line elementary school will cost $39.5 million.
“Anticipation of the completion of the Silver Line Metro has already spurred higher density residential growth along that corridor which may result in an increase in students within FCPS,” according to the CIP draft.
Along with the Silver Line school, the proposal addresses a new elementary school in the northwest area of the county to address current overcrowding in the McNair Elementary school area, with a projected budget of $34.8 million.
In addition to the Silver Line school, the CIP also includes information on a new high school that would provide relief to high schools in Centreville, Chantilly, Herndon, Oakton, South Lakes, and Westfield areas.
The new high school is projected to cost $157 million.
A public hearing will be held on the CIP on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. at Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Road), followed by a school board work session on it on Jan. 13. A vote on the CIP is scheduled to take place on Jan. 23.
(Updated 12/28/19) Come Jan. 1, the Fairfax County School Board will have a lot of new faces.
The 12-member board will see eight newcomers in 2020.
Half of the school board’s incumbents decided not to seek reelection, including: Ilryong Moon, Ryan McElveen, Jane Strauss, Pat Hynes, Sandy Evans and Dalia Palchik. The two Republican incumbents — Elizabeth Schultz and Thomas Wilson — lost their reelection bids.
At-Large Member Karen Keys-Gamarra won reelection, along with:
- Braddock District Representative Megan McLaughlin
- Lee District Representative Tamara Derenak Kaufax
- Mount Vernon District Representative Karen Corbett Sanders
Here is information on the new incoming members, who took their oaths of office on Thursday (Dec. 12) at Jackson Middle School.
At-Large Members Abrar Omeish and Rachna Sizemore Heizer
Omeish and Heizer, along with incumbent Karen Keys-Gamarra, beat three opponents for the At-Large seats.
Heizer has worked as a college professor, disability justice advocate and lawyer, according to her campaign website. Omeish is the co-founder of Give, a youth-led nonprofit and led the county-wide campaign for an anti-bullying campaign, according to her campaign website.
Hunter Mill District: Melanie Meren
Meren, a former U.S. Department of Education employee, beat her opponent, Laura Ramirez Drain. Meren is a parent and small business owner who has lived in Fairfax County for more than 15 years, according to Reston Now.
Dranesville District: Elaine Tholen
Tholen beat three opponents. A resident of Fairfax County for 25 years, Tholen most recently served as the director and treasurer for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, according to her campaign website.
Mason District: Ricardy Anderson
Anderson beat opponent Tom Pafford. She has been a community volunteer, a veteran of the National Guard Army Reserve and lived in Annandale for more than 10 years, according to her campaign website.
Providence District: Karl Frisch
Frisch beat opponent Andrea Bayer in the election. Frisch has served as the executive director of consumer watchdog Allied Progress, was a small business owner and worked as a staffer for the Committee on Rules in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to his campaign website.
Springfield District: Laura Jane Cohen
Cohen beat two opponents, including Republican incumbent Elizabeth Schultz. Cohen has been a resident in the county for nearly 20 years and is a former preschool teacher, according to her campaign website.
Sully District: Stella Pekarsky
Pekarsky beat Republican incumbent Tom Wilson. She was previously an FCPS ESOL teacher, small business co-owner and trustee on the Fairfax County Board.
Come 2020, the school board seats will all be filled by Democrats.
“Corbett Sanders will remain chair of the School Board and Derenak Kaufax will remain as vice-chair,” according to FCPS. “School Board officers are elected at the first meeting in July of each year.”
The board also includes a non-voting student representative who is selected by the Student Advisory Council.
Several local schools were acknowledged by Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand and the Fairfax County School Board for bridging achievement gaps in English and math.
Lake Anne Elementary School was one of the top schools in the county to achieve the greatest reduction in the English achievement gap.
Awards were given based on school performance in the 2018-2019 school year and revised accreditation standards approved by the Virginia Board of Education in 2017.
Photo via Facebook
Following recent changes to state law, the Fairfax County School Board is drafting a policy to store and administer cannabis-derived medication to students at school.
The board is set to discuss the draft policy at a meeting tonight (Monday). Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly passed three bills that would expand access to the medications. Under the changes, students who have proper documentation can use cannabinol (CBD) oil and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THC-A) oil at school.
The oils are derived from the cannabis plant and have been used by healthcare providers to treat conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, attention disorders, seizure, and other ailments.
The bill also protected school nurses from being prosecuted for possessing and distributing the oils — in accordance with school board policy.
Under the policy, students who have documented permission from a parent or guardian and a licensed practitioner of medicine or osteopath can receive the toils at school. Parents and guardians would also be required to provide the oils to students.
The board will discuss the draft policy at a work session tonight at 6 p.m.
Photo via Unsplash
The Fairfax County School Board is considering a plan to grant middle and high school students an excused absence for taking part in protests, rallies and walkouts.
The board’s governance committee discussed the proposal earlier this week. If approved, students would be given one excused absence from school per year to take part in “civic engagement activities by providing prior notification to the school with evidence of a sponsored/organized event or activity,” according to the draft proposal.
In a letter submitted to the board in February, board member Ryan McElveen said county schools enforced inconsistent policies when students organized walkouts in response to recent school shootings. He wrote the following in his proposal to the board:
A year ago, the devastating tragedy in Parkland galvanized students, parents, and citizens around the country to call for an end to gun violence, a powerful movement demanding action by our elected representatives that continues to this day. The Fairfax County School Board amplified this advocacy through our Resolution on Gun Violence Prevention, which became a national model for School Board resolutions around the country. School systems cannot oppose nor endorse any specific calls to action, but they are constitutionally obligated to recognize and uphold the first amendment rights of students choosing to engage in political activities that do not infringe on the rights of others or disrupt the instructional day. While FCPS provided guidance to schools about how to respond to students who wanted to walkout in support of gun violence prevention in 2018, there was inconsistent enforcement of those procedures in schools, including how schools designated excused student absences. I have spoken with many community members who would like clearer policy guidance in the event of future civic engagement activities.
The discussion is expected to continue on October 2.
At a September 4 meeting, board members sought to ensure that the proposal would not interfere with the school system’s efforts to curb chronic absenteeism. The school board is still seeking information on the absenteeism status of the county’s schools, whether or not other school districts have adopted similar proposals and the projected impact of the proposal on absenteeism.
Labor Day is the traditional time that election campaigns get underway, but in Virginia with an election schedule different from that in most states election campaigns seem to be continuous. Voters in most states have the year off, but Virginia voters this November will face ballots filled with candidates for local and state elections. And next year when all states have federal elections for members of Congress and the presidency Virginians will have those elections too. If the outcomes were not so important people in the Commonwealth could grow weary over all these elections. Some of the low turnout at the polls on election day could probably be attributed to voter fatigue.
If someone has not yet knocked on your door or sent you information in snail mail or social media, you need to get ready for the flurry of campaigning that is about to happen. On November 5 voters will elect all 100 members of the House of Delegates and the 40 members of the Senate. In addition to the many critical issues facing the state, the elections this year will determine if the Republicans maintain their razor thin majorities in both houses or whether the Democrats will take one or both houses. Polling indicates that the Democrats are in a very strong position for a coup. Find out your election district if you have forgotten by going to Voter Information.
At the local level in Fairfax County voters will elect their representatives on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and on the Fairfax County School Board. In addition voters will elect three at-large members of the School Board. The election also includes the sheriff and the Commonwealth’s attorney. That’s a lot of candidates to be knocking on your door, calling you on the phone, and sending you dozens of slick brightly colored post cards touting their strengths and sometimes alerting you to the weaknesses in their opponents. As has been observed many times the system may seem to have its abuses and flaws, but no one has been able to come up with a better system.
As a change-up to traditional campaigning I sponsor a free family picnic to get entire families involved for everyone is welcome and as a way to reduce the costs of campaigns to constituents who are expected to contribute at most events. Bring your family and join us at Temporary Road Park in Reston at the corner of North Shore Drive and Temporary Road on Saturday afternoon, September 7, 4 to 6 pm. Let us know you are coming at [email protected] so that we have enough food prepared. Other candidates are expected to come.
We can enjoy the end of the summer holiday season and the beginning of the fall campaigns in a relaxed environment. The issues before us are too important to not participate in the process regardless of your political persuasion. Our outdoor social can get us in the mood for yet another round of voting in Virginia.
Melanie Meren won the endorsement of the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee for school board with 80 percent of the vote on Wednesday.
The self-described Fairfax County parent leader, whose platform centers around “strong education,” is one of three candidates that were seeking the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board.
“We are excited to support Melanie’s campaign for School Board and thank outgoing School Board member Pat Hynes for her many years of service to Hunter Mill, to our students and teachers,” wrote Gordon Simonett and Denver Supinger, co-chairs of the HMDDC.
Andy Sigle, former president of Reston Association’s Board of Directors, and Laura Ramirez Drain, whose campaign focuses on Family Life Education and the budget, were also running for the board seat. The seat was vacated by longtime Hunter Mill District Representative Pat Hynes in January. Meren’s endorsement bumps other candidates out of the race.
Paul Berry, Meren’s campaign manager, wrote the following about the endorsement:
Meren and her husband Drew are 14 year residents of Hunter Mill District, where their two children attend public school. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Public Policy she worked in early childhood education at the US Department of Education’s Title 1 office managing a $15 million grant program for the nation’s most underfunded schools. After leaving the Dept. of Ed she founded her own education policy firm that advocates in particular for environmental education in public schools. Her professional and personal lives overlapped in 2016 when budget cuts threatened a multi-million dollar reduction in school funding. She responded by successfully advocating for and recovering $60 million through community activism and organizing parents in Hunter Mill.
Meren won with an overwhelming 109 votes, while Sigle had 27 votes.
An official endorsement by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee is expected on May 21. Meren’s name will be on the November ballot without party identification.
Photo via Melanie Meren website
Andy Sigle, the outgoing president of the Reston Association’s Board of Directors, is running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board.
In his announcement, he wrote:
My wife, Kim, and I have put four children through the FCPS school system, the last one graduating in 2017. I am a strong advocate of student equity and access in our public schools, support of our teachers, establishment of infrastructure that keeps up with development within our community, as well as a driver for family and community engagement and sustainability initiatives. I bring to the role more than twenty five years as a manager and executive in the telecommunications industry along with a MBA from the University of Chicago. I have a proven track record of tackling difficult situations and creating positive results through a focus on asking sensible questions, holding reasonable discussions, collaboration and collegiality. Again, I know I can make a difference on our school board and I ask for your support.
Since then, Sigle has highlighted his work as the former president of the South Lakes High School PTSA board, which included organizing a series of diversity and inclusion workshops, helping to establish the school’s food pantry and moderating a discussion between Hynes and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins meant to educate the community.
Sigle’s bio says that he has turned his attention to community work after 28 years in the telecommunications industry.
Sigle first joined the RA’s Board of Directors in 2011 and was elected president last year. He also sings in The Reston Chorale, chairs the Southgate Community Center Advisory Council and is a member of the Reston Historic Trust’s Board of Directors.
Earlier this month, Sigle nabbed a new role as the chief operating officer and vice president of external relations for Leadership Fairfax, a nonprofit that aims to inspire private and public sector individuals to tackle community issues.
Laura Ramirez Drain and Melanie Meren are also running for the school board seat.
The Hunter Mill Democratic Committee is slated to host a candidate forum on Wednesday, April 10, at 8 p.m. at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 N Shore Drive).
The committee also plans to hold an endorsement meeting on May 8 at Lake Anne ES.
Photo via Facebook
Family yoga — From 10:30-11 a.m. at the Reston Regional Library, families can enjoy yoga along with stories and songs with a children’s yoga instructor. The event is meant for children ages 2 to 4. Families are encouraged to bring a mat or blanket. [Fairfax County]
Herndon High School 2019 Cabaret — This year’s annual performance will include family-favorites from “Come From Away,” “Matilda,” “Waitress” and “Kinky Boots.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Herndon High School Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. [Herndon High School]
New case study unveils history behind “One Fairfax” — The Center for the Study of Social Policy’s 15-page study was released on Jan. 22 to present an overview of the decades-long process and the milestones that led to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board adopting the “One Fairfax” policy in November 2017. [Fairfax County]
Reston care merger — Reston’s Clinical Care Options has merged with Greenwich, Conn.-based Practicing Clinicians Exchange. [citybizlist]
With the incumbent stepping down, two candidates are running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board.
Earlier in January, Hunter Mill District Representative Pat Hynes said that she won’t seek re-election. Her term expires at the end of 2019.
Laura Ramirez Drain’s campaign is focused on the Family Life Education curriculum, school boundaries and the FCPS budget. Melanie Meren, a self-described “Fairfax County parent leader,” wants to promote “strong education.”
Both Meren and Drain point to their experiences as parents of children who are either currently attending or went to Fairfax County public schools as one of the reasons why they are running for the seat.
Drain said on her website that “running for school board means for her protecting the children and the community while also guiding them to stand up and speak out for what they believe in.”
Meren’s website says that “after years of advocating as a parent and professional in education policy and communications, she believes she can accomplish more as an elected leader. She wants to advance solutions that evolve our system to meet the needs of our students and communities now — and plan for future expected needs.”
Meren’s career has focused on education public policy and programming. She worked at the U.S. Department of Education and as an independent communications consultant at MKM Strategies.
Meren has also been involved with advocacy and community organizations.
She began co-leading the #IamFCPS grassroots campaign after a $75 million budget cut hit FCPS in 2015. The campaign secured $60 million of the proposed cuts, resulting in educator pay increases and measures to help address growing class sizes, according to her website. She is also currently a member of the Fairfax County School Board’s Human Resources Advisory Committee.
Drain has more than 20 years of sales experience with information technology products and solution-based services, including with Verizon and AT&T. She is also the chief executive officer and founder of Random Words Marketing Group. She relocated from Mexico to the U.S. in 1999 with the Hewlett-Packard Corp. and became a U.S. citizen in 2008, according to her website.
Since 2011, she has produced and hosted “Cafe Latino Radio,” a bilingual talk radio show, and in 2015, she launched Cafe Latino TV — both shows focused on sharing success stories from small business owners and people from local nonprofits over a cup of coffee.
This Saturday (Jan. 26) she plans to host a “meet and greet” from 3-5 p.m. at Glory Days Grill (1400 North Point Village Center).
Hunter Mill District Representative Pat Hynes announced today (Jan. 9) that she won’t seek reelection to the Fairfax County School Board.
Hynes has been a member of the 12-member board for the last seven years. Previously, she was an elementary school teacher in the county’s public schools from 2002 to 2011 and has worked as a lawyer with Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett in New York City and community organizer, according to her bio.
The announcement arrived in her newsletter. In one section, she wrote:
As you may know, my current term as your school board member expires at the end of 2019. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to represent the welcoming, resilient, creative people of Hunter Mill for the last seven years. But I’ve decided not to seek reelection after this term. My first calling is the classroom and I’ve been teaching full time in Arlington these last two years. (The law does not allow me to serve on the board and teach in FCPS at the same time.) I was hopeful that I might be able to balance the time commitments of both jobs, but it really is not reasonable and I find myself stretched too thin too often. I look forward to the next year of work and progress on your behalf, but I also think it’s time for someone else to step up. I’m sure we will all be engaged in the November election and I have no doubt Hunter Mill will choose an excellent new school board member.
Her term expires at the end of 2019.
Until then, she outlined in her newsletter several school board issues on her radar, including climate change and equity.
With Virginia’s General Assembly starting today, Hynes said “we are fortunate here in Hunter Mill to have state representatives who fight for public education and other critical needs of families and communities.”