Years of involvement with the local schools have shown Dan Storck what is good about the Fairfax County Public Schools. It's also shown him what still needs to be done.
For that, and other reasons, he has decided to declare himself a candidate for the Mount Vernon District School Board.
He will be running against incumbent Isis Castro, Fairfax County School Board chair, who announced a few months ago that she would be running for re-election.
"I think there are some things that need to be done," said Storck. "There's a need for strong leadership, and I think I can provide it."
Storck's vision for the future incorporates three goals: continue to improve the quality of education in Fairfax County, increase accountability for the dollars and resources taxpayers provide, and grow the number of public and private partnerships.
As a consultant in the health-care field for many years, Storck feels that he has the advantage of having a business background. That and his community involvement form a combination that he intends to apply to his vision.
Being on both sides [private and public], he feels that he can be instrumental in furthering school partnerships
With two children in college and one leaving middle school, Storck has been involved with the PTA on all levels. He served as president of West Potomac's PTSA from 1998-2000. He's been a basketball coach with Fort Hunt Youth Basketball for almost 15 years; he's a member of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corp.; chair of the landscaping committee at West Potomac; board member and vice president of Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services; and former secretary and president of the Riverside Gardens Recreation Association.
A COUPLE OF years ago, Storck was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve on the Fairfax County Character Counts Task Force.
"We looked for ways to integrate the character education message for both adults and children," said Storck.
More recently, he was appointed to the Community Task Force on the Fairfax County Public Schools Budget. As part of this committee, Storck will be looking at the longer-term issues facing the schools, and how to maintain the quality of education long-term with the funding gap due to the taxing authority issue.
They'll also be looking to make sure that the schools have the resources to provide quality education.
"The combination of being on the task force and my own interest made me want to run," said Storck.
Two of Storck's children, Ben and Katie, have gone successfully through the public school system and are now attending Ohio State University and Colgate University, respectively.
While the AP programs worked for them, Storck's younger son, Jon, is struggling and needs different programs.
Because of this, Storck knows how different students are and said, "Some need special education, some GT [gifted and talented programs], others need someone just to focus on them and make sure they're meeting their potential.”
It's these students in the middle, not excelling and not struggling, that he's most concerned about.
"A connection has to be massaged, supported and encouraged by the teachers, parents and the students," said Storck.