Politics, Education Mix

By Jennifer Lesinski

The Connection

Name, address: Walt Carlson, Coronado Terrace, Fairfax.

Family information: Born December 1939; married; one 17-year-old daughter who attends Woodson High School.

How would you describe yourself? I’m a liberal who believes that society needs strong government, good political parties and good schools as much as it needs strong, honest, well-run organizations in the private sector of the economy.

Education: BS, Poly Sci, from Penn State in 1961; Masters, Public Administration, from Temple in 1967.

Current job or primary occupation: Retired. Currently serving as chairman of Woodson High School’s PTSA Technology Committee and as the technology chairman for the Fairfax County Council of PTAs.

Favorite part of your current job: Helping PTAs use e-mail and Web sites to inform their membership of what’s happening around the school and the community and using those tools to work for more effective schools.

Key ties to your community, community involvement: PTA organizations and my political party.

One thing about your community that you enjoy that you don’t think most people know about; or something important for a newcomer to know: How many great walking paths through the woods there are.

List a few of your favorite places in your community: The back deck of my house when the weather is nice; the tree-lined streets of Mantua at almost anytime of the year; Dolce Vita restaurant, and the Accotink Creek Trail.

If you were king of your community, everyone would …: Everyone would support public schools with more funds and involvement; be involved in the direction, support and leadership of their political party; and be anxious and willing to be involved in community activities.

One thing you would change about your community: The lack of a town center like the Reston Town Center that citizens could walk or bike to on sidewalks or bike paths, enjoy indoor and outdoor dining, meet their neighbors and enjoy musical, theatrical and cultural events as well as go shopping.

What is the last movie you saw or enjoyed? “A Beautiful Mind.”

What is your favorite TV show? “Golden Girls.”

List your hobbies: Developing Web sites, reading newspapers and traveling.

Where was your last or favorite vacation? Three weeks last summer in Cambridge, England, a lot of which was spent traveling back and forth to London to enjoy the theatre and city life.

Describe how you would most like to spend one day? Solving Fairfax County’s educational and transportation problems.

What is your favorite quotation? Citizens get the quality of government they deserve.

If you could be anyone else, who would you be? George W. Bush.

If you could meet anyone else (any time in history), who would it be? Machiavelli.

Rotary Recognizes Perfect Attendance

The Rotary Club of Fairfax recently recognized seven of its members for perfect attendance. Shown here (left to right) are Robert Sisson, 2001-02 president, with David Holden, who has had perfect attendance for 11 years; Stephen Firestone, who has had perfect attendance for 19 years; and James Strickler, who has had perfect attendance for 32 years. Also recognized for perfect attendance were Kenneth Yancey, nine years; John Brice, seven years; Verne Tuiniga, three years; and Thomas Burdette, 12 years.

Family Celebrates Fifth Eagle Scout

On July 14, the McClelland family of Springfield participated in an Eagle Court of Honor recognizing the fifth member of the family to receive the rank of Eagle Scout. Following in the footsteps of his older brothers Dan, Matt, Eddie and Dave, Chris McClelland stepped forward to receive the highest honor awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. Chris, a rising junior at West Springfield High School, has a 4.0 grade point average and actively serves his community. The Court of Honor took place in the Springfield Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Students Learn to be Leaders

Four outstanding Virginia high school students, including Aileen Boniface from Robinson High School in Burke, represented Virginia in the nation’s capital at the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) World Leadership Congress (WLC). Created by veteran actor Hugh O’Brian, television’s Wyatt Earp, HOBY affords 300 high-school students from every state in the United States and more than 30 nations a unique opportunity to gain leadership training by meeting in question-and-answer sessions with America’s top decision makers. The George Washington University is hosting the 2002 WLC, which ran from July 20-26.

The primary purpose of HOBY is to give high-school sophomores the opportunity to discover their leadership potential and explore how to use their potential to become the leaders of tomorrow, said O’Brian. “We give them a hands-on opportunity to interact with today’s top movers and shakers in business, government, education, technology and other professions. Inspired by my nine-day visit with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, I founded HOBY based on his comment that the most important thing in education is teaching young people to think for themselves. Our thrust is to teach them how to think, not what to think, and what the thinking process is.”

The selection process for high-school students began last September, when more than 13,000 public and private high schools selected their outstanding sophomores to attend a three-day HOBY Leadership Seminars. In turn, one male and one female student were selected from each site to attend the upcoming WLC, a six-day international youth summit.

This year marks the first time in WLC history that students convening from all over the world will have an opportunity to participate in HOBY’s new International Youth Forum.

At the 2002 WLC, students will be guided in developing a Statement on World Leadership that will be disseminated to world leaders from all countries represented at the WLC, including U.S. President George W. Bush and the United Nations.