Alexandria Town of residence: Alexandria
Age: Not relevant
Family: Christopher John Hennig TC Williams graduate, his wife and 3 granddaughters
Offices held, dates: Member, first Alexandria City elected School Board 1992-1995
Occupation and relevant experience: Corporate controller and accounting professional
- Over 34 years of community involvement as a parent, PTA officer at three (3) schools, member of four (4) School Board Advisory committees including: 7 years on the Special Education Advisory Committee; 10 years’ service on the Substance Abuse Education Advisory Committee, including 8 years as Chair of this Committee, 4 years (19901992 and 20102012) as a member of the Budget Advisory Committee and PTA liaison from PTA Council in the 1980s
- Member, Health Advisory Committee (previously Substance Abuse Advisory Committee)
- Founding Board Member, Alexandria Police Youth Camp Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) entity. Served as Board Member and Treasurer.
- Worked with the Alexandria Police Department on other citizen assistance projects like the Car Safety Seat Education and Installation program.
- Leader, Cub Scouts, William Ramsay Elementary School and adult advisor to the Alexandria City Police Department Law Enforcement Explorers Post for 9 years.
- William Ramsay Elementary PTA, Past President and Treasurer; Jefferson Houston Elementary PTA, Past Treasurer; Francis C. Hammond Middle School, Past President (two terms) and Vice President
- In my second term as a member of the Virginia School Boards Association Federal Affairs Committee, representing the 8th Congressional District
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Name three favorite endorsements: Education Association of Alexandria – I think that teacher approval is most important
What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?
The main issue is that we continue to improve and enhance the academic achievements of our schools by assuring all programs are those that support and develop exemplary schools; having each school fully staffed with the necessary number of teachers, paraprofessionals, psychologists, social workers and other support staff; ensure that each school is a firstrate educational environment.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why should voters choose you?
My service in the schools and the City has always been focused on education and improvement of the lives of our children and their families. I am the only currently serving member of the Board who knows the history of the system, past programs, successes and failures. And if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
How can Alexandria address overcrowding within the current budgetary confines? What ideas and skills do you bring to solving this?
Redistricting of the system is the first step to address overcrowding, but it is not the complete answer. The Board needs to work with City Council to create and implement a longterm plan for creative use of available buildings and space. This will require open and clear dialogue with the community fully involved.
While the majority of Alexandria schools remain accredited, what can be done about continuing problems facing Jefferson Houston? For incumbents, what lessons have been learned from the problem? For nonincumbent candidates, what would you have done differently?
Jefferson Houston was accredited prior to the previous school administration. That can be confirmed on the Dept. of Education website. “New ideas” and “new education” made the school an experiment not a place of learning. Dr. Crawley has placed an excellent principal in that building, and while accreditation was not achieved in the first year, I believe that solid policy and practice will lead to that.