Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Deserves Support

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Deserves Support

I write in support of Veronica Nolan’s candidacy for re-election to a seat on the Alexandria City School Board as a representative from District B.

Veronica is a long-time resident of Alexandria. She lives here with her husband and two sons, one who attends an Alexandria public elementary school and the other who attends T.C. Williams High School. She has already served one term on the School Board with distinction and will, upon her re-election, become a senior member of the Board, bringing valuable experience to the table.

Veronica continually demonstrates integrity and honesty, wisdom and forthrightness. She believes in our community and in her ability to help us make it better. She is passionate about all kids and about making their world a better place in which to learn and grow. She understands that in order to improve schools for students, we must support their teachers and school staff members. She believes that the School Board needs to work together with City Council and community leaders to build a multitude of safety nets for our youngest citizens.

In her last term on the Board she has demonstrated that she has the skills and the experience to get the job done well. She is bright, creative and collegial. She brings to the job a rich background in K-12 education, including teaching at Eastern High School in the District of Columbia for five years. She also nurtured Urban Alliance, an intensive job internship program for high school students, from a tiny, local program that served 42 students in its first year to one that, by the time she left, placed over 3,000 students a year nationally in internships in business, industry and the non-profit world, including 150 students in Alexandria. She not only engaged educators in this effort, but also a huge community of business leaders. Veronica remains a teacher, now on the faculty of Trinity University in Washington, D.C.

Through all these experiences, Veronica has learned how educational systems work. She knows how to shore up the weak points, as well as how to capitalize on the great strengths. She understands the pivotal role that parents play in their children’s education and how important community support is in making it all work. eronica has the right stuff.

Finally, I believe that voters in District B should get out and vote for Veronica because this election matters. All of us — no matter what our political persuasion — have seen very clearly in the last three years that elections have consequences. Even school board elections — or maybe especially school board elections. These are our kids and our grandkids. This is our community.

We begin teaching values to our kids at home, but if we want our kids to grow up respecting each other, to welcome new ideas, to be curious about the world around them, and at the same time to treasure the values our society is built on, then we have to depend on our schools and teachers to help. And that means that school leadership matters a lot. Who sits at the Board table matters a lot.

I believe that Veronica Nolan can help Alexandria and our schools move in the right direction. She deserves our support.

Kitty Porterfield