A few months before School Board member Noah Simon was elected to the Arlington School Board, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Simon won the election and was sworn into office at the beginning of last year. But Kedron Veliz Simon died at the end of the year, a tragedy that Simon says put a great strain on his family.
"The board has made me a part-time dad," said Simon, who will resign the seat effective Aug. 1. "And my kids deserve and frankly need me to give them my full attention."
Simon is now a single father raising a 9-year-old and an 11-year old. During last week's meeting of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Simon said he loved doing the work of the School Board and thanked those who supported his campaign in 2012. But he said that he must make his family a priority and resign the seat. He said he picked Aug. 1 as his resignation date to give candidates a chance to enter the special election.
"It also saves the county tens of thousands of dollars I think would be better spent on schools and county services," said Simon, prompting a round of applause from members of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
THE FIRST candidate to throw her hat into the ring was Nancy Van Doren, one of the three candidates who was competing to get the Democratic endorsement for the School Board opening created by Sally Baird's decision against seeking a third term. Author Barbara Kanninen seized that endorsement, although Van Doren came in a close second place. Now she has launched a second campaign.
"This is an unexpected turn of events," said Van Doren in the announcement of her campaign. "It is a critical time in our community as we work to manage our growing school system."
The third candidate in the race earlier this year, Greg Greeley, quickly threw his support behind Van Doren.
"Nancy has my wholehearted support and endorsement," said Greeley. "She will be a great advocate for Arlington students."