Town of residence: Alexandria (Fairfax County)
Age: Over 21
Family: Luther, husband; Children – Syreeta, Seneca and Stefanie
Education: Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC; NOVA Community College; and George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.
Offices held, dates: No elected office held
Occupation and relevant experience: Fairfax County Public Schools – Family Engagement Representative; African Heritage Early Literacy Project Leader. Co-founder South County Youth Network a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Member, Lt. Governor’s Commonwealth Council for Childhood Success
Community involvement: Northern VA District PTA Director; Member, VA State PTA Board; Member, Chairman Bulova’s Ad Hoc Police Review Committee; Coordinator, West Potomac-Mount Vernon School-Community Coalition
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name three favorite endorsements: Dr. Larry Bussey; The Faith Community; and Mattie Palmore, Community Activist
What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?
My desire to have equitable education for all students drives me to run, along with character education in all school pyramids.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why should voters choose you?
Voters should choose me because I am embedded in the school system as an employee; family oriented and believe that students and families should not be judged by their geographical location.
How will you address the growing economic divide in county schools?
First, we need to address the increase in families placing their children in private schools or homeschooling; second, the economic divide is a direct correlation of the type of businesses in a community, i.e., fast food establishments vs. Fortune 500; and, third – work on changing the mindset of judging others by zip codes.
How will you address the achievement gap?
The achievement gap should not exist. The history of public education clearly shows that that public education was not designed for people of color. The achievement gap came on the scene when schools were integrated. I can only address the problem when all stakeholders understand why the problem exists.
More than half of the county budget is devoted to the local school system with a significant budget gap looming, both for FCPS and Fairfax County. What steps would you take to manage the gap and to fund the needs of the school system? What are the top priorities and what could be cut?
FCPS and the BOS must work together to develop strategies to bring more businesses into the area and reduce the reliance on real estate taxes. Teachers know where cuts can be made and that is the group that I would begin my inquiries.
What value does FCPS add for taxpayers who do not have children in the schools?
A school system with a stellar reputation is sought by businesses and former school graduates to return and give back to the community. Taxpayers want to see “more bang for their bucks.” Elect me to the school board and you’ll see the plan in action!