When Dan Storck decided to run for the Mount Vernon District School Board, he planned to run as an independent. Incumbent Isis Castro was already backed by the Democratic Party and Marsha Paul had the support of the Republicans.
Everything has changed now that Castro has withdrawn her nomination and put her support behind Storck.
"We have so many things in common; he's worked in human services, as well as in the schools. I'm impressed with him, he really knows the schools," said Castro, who has decided not to run for personal reasons.
"I am very sad, it was a very hard decision, but I needed a job that gave me more flexibility," said Castro.
She will continue serving the rest of her term, and said that she might consider running again in the future. She will also continue serving as executive director of Progreso Hispano, a non-profit organization which serves the Hispanic community in the Route 1 South corridor, until the end of the year. Castro is helping them get settled in their new facilities on Mohawk Lane and is excited about being able to serve clients in a permanent facility.
Prior to this, Progreso Hispano operated out of several different locations up and down Route 1. They provide various services for immigrants; they also hold English and citizen preparation classes.
CASTRO CONTINUES her school board duties, having as many as a dozen meetings a day. She tries to accommodate requests as best she can, and cited the case in Lorton Station, who wanted to meet with her one day last week.
"I had such a full week, the only time I had was between 12 and 1. We met at a Chinese restaurant on Route 1," said Castro. "This is a very time-consuming job."
She continued by saying, "Mount Vernon is close to my heart. There's not one school who's invited me that I haven't visited. Every August, I visit every principal and ask them if there's anything they need.
"When I visited Quander Road School, they told me it was the first time anybody [from the school board] had visited them. I do my best to respond to constituents; some things I can deliver, some things I can't. I just hope that Dan [Storck] looks at the entire Mount Vernon district."
STORCK HASN'T decided yet how to approach this new opportunity. Being new to politics, he said that he will try to get the endorsement of as many groups possible who support his position. One of those groups is the Democratic party.
"I need support from a variety of organizations," said Storck, who wasn't totally shocked that Castro decided not to run.
"I talked to her last week, I knew she had some issues," he said. "I'm excited about the opportunity. I can't tell you how happy I am that Isis is supporting me."
Storck also plans to meet with every principal and PTA president this year.
"You can never know enough," said Storck.
He's not concerned about the workload, saying that he was prepared before he filed his petition [to run].
"I know what's involved. I see how hard Isis and Kris [Amundson] work. I think they need a highly visible and effective representative and I'm confident that I'm the person."