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Arlington School Board Candidate Announcements

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I’m posting these press releases from Arlington School Board candidates in the order I received them today – first Barbara Kanninen, second Greg Greeley, third Nancy Van Doren.

It’s Official: Barbara Kanninen Announces Candidacy for Arlington County School Board

The children’s book author and 20-year parent volunteer announces run for open School Board seat at Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting

ARLINGTON – Barbara Kanninen, children’s book author, Ph.D. economist, and 20-year classroom and community volunteer, officially announced today to fellow Democrats at the Arlington County Democratic Committee monthly meeting that she will run for the open Arlington County School Board seat.  The seat, vacated by Sally Baird, will be up for election in May.

“We have great public schools in Arlington already, but to stay great, we need to keep pushing forward,” Kanninen said.  “We need School Board members that are experienced, forward-thinking, creative, and above all, passionate about educating our kids.  We need members who will ask the tough questions and put creative solutions on the table. I promise to listen respectfully, work collaboratively, and always keep the focus on what is most important: providing every child in our schools with every opportunity to excel.”

Strengthening STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum in schools, moving beyond standardized testing to find new ways of measuring achievement and supporting the arts are among Kanninen’s top priorities on the School Board.  She also urges a special focus on expanding programs for alternative learning styles and incorporating more adult mentoring in the classroom to provide every child with a support system at school.  

Kanninen also spoke of the immediate concern of classroom overcrowding. “We need to conduct a transparent, constructive, logical process for finding solutions. One that respects people’s ideas and time, and, at the end of the day, gets the job done,” she says calling for increasing school capacity with a smart, creative and collaborative approach that works for Arlington teachers, staff, and families.

Since January, the campaign has received donations from over 100 grassroots donors and has built a robust list of supporters throughout the community including endorsements by Former School Board Member Ed Fendley and former Chief Technology Officer of the White House Aneesh Chopra. Arlington Democrats in support of Kanninen’s run have turned out numerous meet and greets on behalf of the campaign, and Kanninen is planning more than a dozen more events throughout the spring.

Kanninen, a Ph.D. economist who runs her own data consulting firm in Arlington, has written extensively for children, including picture books, magazine articles, and education curricula and is a 20-year veteran of classroom, school, and community volunteering.  Kanninen is a founding board member of the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington, and serves on the County Board’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee, the School Board’s Advisory Council on Instruction, and the data committee for the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families.  A Democratic activist, she founded and chaired Arlington/Alexandria Women for Obama, a network of 600 grassroots volunteers, and was elected delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The election will be held on May 15 at Drew Model School from 7pm to 9pm, and on Saturday, May 17 at Washington-Lee High School from 11am to 7pm.

For more information, please visit www.BarbaraKforSchoolBoard.com.

Sally Baird Endorses Greg Greeley for Arlington School Board

Arlington, VA – Retiring School Board member Sally Baird officially endorsed Greg Greeley tonight to replace her on the Arlington School Board. Baird, a member of the Arlington School Board since 2007, introduced Greeley and announced her support at the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s February meeting.

“Greg offers a needed balance to the Arlington School Board,” said Baird. “He has the depth, temperament, and experience to be a key leader on the Board as it addresses our looming capacity crisis. And I know he values – in fact, he lives — our community’s diversity. He will work to improve our school system for all of Arlington’s children.”

An Arlingtonian since 1987, Greeley, resides in the Douglas Park neighborhood of South Arlington near Columbia Pike. If elected, Greeley, like Baird now, would be the only School Board member with a child attending South Arlington schools.

Baird joins a growing list of elected officials and Arlington leaders who support Greg Greeley for School Board, including Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy, State Senator Adam Ebbin, and Delegate Patrick Hope.

Greeley, 49, has served in numerous leadership roles in Arlington, including as chair of the Planning and Capacity Subcommittee of the Advisory Council on School Facilities and Capital Programs (FAC), FAC Ambassador to the Nottingham Elementary School community in the recent More Seats for More Students boundary process, and Treasurer of the Randolph Elementary School PTA. He is also a former president and board member of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) and serves as Vice-Chair of the Northern Virginia MIT Educational Council. He was a nominee to be a local Foster Parent of the Year in 2010.

He is the proud father of two boys and was a foster parent to other children in recent years. Nikolay (“Kolya”) was adopted from the Ukraine in 2002 and attends Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Originally from El Salvador, Greeley’s son Ismael recently graduated from high school with an Advanced Studies Diploma. Ismael is a DREAM scholarship recipient who is now studying engineering at Northern Virginia Community College.

The caucus for the Democratic endorsement will be held on May 15 at Drew Model School and May 17 at Washington-Lee High Schoo1.

Nancy Van Doren seeks Democratic Party endorsement for Arlington School Board

VAN DOREN ANNOUNCES PRIORITIES, FOCUSES ON EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE FOR ALL STUDENTS

ARLINGTON, VA., (February 5, 2014) – Nancy Van Doren, a long-time education advocate and former business executive, announced four priorities for Arlington Public Schools as she seeks the Democratic Party endorsement for an open School Board seat.

“My top priority is to ensure every child succeeds and is college and career ready,” said Van Doren. “We need to support our highly qualified teachers, strengthen our instructional program, and close the achievement gap.”

In outlining her priorities, Van Doren focused on:

1. Educational Excellence for All Students: Students must leave high school prepared for higher education and success in the global economy.

2. Adequate Facilities: Arlington Public Schools are at 100% capacity. The student population is growing by 700 students each year. We need creative solutions to best use existing space in the county, find new space, and build new facilities where needed.

3. Safe and Efficient Transportation: Families need to be able to choose how to get their children to school safely and efficiently.

4. Strong County/Schools Collaboration: Smart growth requires good planning and the careful management of tax dollars. We need to increase APS collaboration with Arlington County in order to plan and allocate our common resources to best serve all our residents.

“When our schools work, Arlington works,” said Van Doren.

Van Doren has served as a leader and driving force in major APS task forces, initiatives and committees for a decade. Her work has spanned all aspects of a student’s daily life – from transportation to facility renovations to curriculum to support services and much more.

Van Doren’s bid for School Board comes on the heels of considerable work she has done for Arlington Public Schools, including: the Multimodal Transportation and Student Safety Special Committee; the Arlington Career Center Parent Advisory Committee; the Family and Community Engagement Working Group; the Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee, the Evaluation of Services for Students with Special Needs Steering Committee; the ADHD Task Force; the Advisory Council on Instruction, and the County Council of PTAs.

She’s also been deeply involved at the school level – from PTA leadership roles to Washington-Lee High School Crew fundraising initiatives to family engagement programs and enrichment activities.