Questionnaire: John Andrews, School Board, Potomac District

Questionnaire: John Andrews, School Board, Potomac District

Office Sought: School Board Potomac District

Party Affiliation: Republican Endorsed

Previous Offices Held: Vice Chairman 2001& 2002

Incumbents, when elected to position: Elected 1999 Broad Run District

Occupation: Owner General contracting company

Employment: ACIC 43763 Partlow Rd. Ashburn, Va 20147

Education: Herndon HS 1979

Longwood College 2 yrs

Community Ties: Member Loudoun Co. Chamber of Commerce

Founding Member Loudoun Co. Economic Development Commission

Founding Member Loudoun C. Affordable Dwelling Unit Advisory Committee

Grew up in Reston and have been active in numerous community organizations

Endorsements: Loudoun Education Association & Loudoun Co. Republican Committee,

1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?

Being elected by my community to the School Board in 1999.

2. Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term.

Receiving the support of a voting majority of the school board on numerous new initiatives that improved our district schools.

3. What are the top five problems facing your constituents and what approaches will you use to solve them? Describe one challenge (or more) in your district that is different than other parts of the county.

A) Standard of learning requirements for high school graduation.

This is first year that these state mandates will be implemented. I will work with our senior staff and school board members to fight for adjustments for those students that fail to meet the new state requirements.

B) Teacher retention

I will continue to fight for competitive pay for our teachers. We can no longer afford to be the stepchild of Fairfax County. We must be competitive to retain and hire new staff.

C) Reduced classroom sizes

Prioritize our spending. We should first focus on current programs and class size before starting new initiatives.

D) Explosive student growth

We must be vigilant to insure that each child receives a quality education. There are approx. 2500 new students each year coming to Loudoun. We have done an excellent job of improving our over all education system while being one of the fastest growing school systems in the country.

E) Balancing taxes and quality education

It is important to have the support of everyone in the community. Not just those with children. It is vital that all the citizens of Loudoun be proud of our public school system. Taxpayers should look with confidence that their hard earned money is being invested wisely in our children's future.

The challenge ahead will be to reduce class sizes and implement an all day kindergarten program. The opening of Countryside Elem. was the last school in the district to be built. We are in a unique position of being able to reduce class size due to the reduction of over crowding in all our elementary schools.

4. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?

I have been proud to represent our community for the past four years. I have been in a leadership position the past two years as vice chairman. I have been able to work with a voting majority of the board to make positive improvements to our district. Owning my own business in Loudoun has allowed me the ability to work on constituent issues immediately. I have the experience and knowledge necessary to make a positive difference for our district.

5. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?

I am their current elected school board member that has worked to improve our children's education while fighting wasteful spending.

6. Is there "waste" in the school budget? If so, where and how much? If you can't pinpoint precisely, in what specific area would you be looking?

We are opening up an average of 3 new schools a year. Tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money is spent on each school. This current school board has been able to reduce new construction costs by 10%. The challenge ahead will be working with the new Board of Supervisors to further reduce new school construction costs. The operating budget must focus on the classroom and I will continue to fight spending increases that do not show a positive impact on improving our children's education.

7. What have been the advantages and disadvantages of SOLs?

The advantages: 1) Accountability to parents

2) State testing required by Fed. No Child Left Behind

Disadvantage: Creating a system that in general teaches to a test.

8. If you had an extra $1 million to spend on the school system any way you would like, how would you spend it?

Reducing classroom sizes to no more than 18 children in classes K-12.

9. What are the hallmarks of a well-run school? Include measurable characteristics.

A school where every child is treated as an individual. Success of the brightest child and the most challenged are equally important.

10. What are the hallmarks of an excellent teacher? Include measurable characteristics.

A teacher that provides a safe and stimulating environment that a child looks forward with excitement to attending. Growth in academic learning and skill enhancement of each child.

11. If you were to create your own core curriculum, what subjects would you include? Place in priority order.

Reading-Writing-Math-Computer skills-History-Science-Art-Music-Gym

12. How would you increase involvement of the general public in the public schools?

Continue to reach out i.e.: Business partnerships-Seniors and other community organization partnerships with individual schools.

13. How would you increase parental involvement in the public schools?

Continue to expand the parent liaison program and to communicate school events in community newsletters.

14. What additional public safety steps would you recommend in addressing gangs and violent activities on or near school property? Has the rate of violent acts increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last four years?

Zero tolerance to any type of gang activity in our schools period. The issue of gang violence in the community has grown over the past four years. The school system has taken an aggressive approach to combat gang activities during school.