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Votes

Oakton Resident to Run for School Board

Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner becomes candidate for seat currently held by Providence District School Board member Ernestine Heastie.

Former PTA volunteer and Democrat Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner recently announced his intentions to run for the School Board seat representing the Providence District. The seat is currently held by Ernestine Heastie, who is not seeking re-election.

No other candidates have entered the race for the Providence District seat.

"I see the schools as critical to the future," said Niedzielski-Eichner. "...I want to make sure that public education is sustained at the high-quality level as it [already] is in Fairfax."

A businessman and consultant, Niedzielski-Eichner said he had several priorities should he serve on the School Board. He supports an independent review of the school budget, program evaluation of new programs, year-round education for some programs, and recruitment of quality teachers. He also would consider adjusting the facilities and renewals program differently in order to reduce overcrowding and work on schools whose facilities needs are most pressing.

"If we continue to provide the education as efficiently as possible, then we'll be able to sustain the public's trust," Niedzielski-Eichner said.

Niedzielski-Eichner has worked on school budget issues on the Fairfax County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) and served as past PTA president and Rocky Run Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He also was a soccer coach for eight years, and currently sits as an at-large member of the Fairfax County Park Authority board.

Niedzielski-Eichner lives in Oakton with his wife, Christine, and has two adult children. He has been endorsed by Heastie, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair Kate Hanley, Providence District supervisor Gerry Connolly, and past Virginia Secretary of Education and Fairfax attorney James Dyke.

"I think he'll do a great job representing the families of the Providence District," said Heastie. Heastie, a Democrat, has served on the School Board since 1996.