Today, former School Board member Ryan McElveen sent the following email to his supporters:
Our world has changed in innumerable ways since I last wrote you.
My wife Xuan and I navigated virtual learning with our eldest daughter, Sierra, while we welcomed a new baby girl, Isla. I created a global leadership program for Fairfax County high schoolers, became a PTA and Girl Scout dad, and worked with community advocates to, among other things, bring salad bars back to our schools and create safe routes to our neighborhood school.
Throughout this time, I have never forgotten the powerful and rewarding work in which I engaged over eight years alongside you – Fairfax County parents, students, and educators – as we endeavored to create a brighter future for the next generation. My passion for that work – and for working with and on behalf of you – has never abated.
It is for that reason that I have decided to run to serve again as your at-large member on the Fairfax County School Board.
The past few years have been challenging for public education systems everywhere, and Fairfax County has not been immune. The pandemic reinforced long-standing disparities and Fairfax County’s tale of two systems. From deepening concerns about students left behind academically to declining mental health among all students, the challenges our community must overcome are far more daunting than ever before.
And although the past three years have torn apart our Fairfax County community, we aren’t irrevocably broken. At a time when public education is under attack by politicians, we need experienced, thoughtful, empathetic, and forward-looking servant leadership on the School Board.
To create a community that better serves all residents, I will work toward a better tomorrow that:
- Provides high-quality mental health resources that meet the needs of our students and staff
- Competitively compensates and retains high-quality educators who know our students by name and by need
- Builds and maintains educational environments and facilities that are safe, inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and inspire learning
- Offers a 21st century curriculum, academies, and high-quality world language programs in every school to prepare students to thrive in the jobs of the future
- Implements universal high-quality pre-K programs that prepare students to enter kindergarten ready to learn
We can’t solve all these issues at the local level, and we certainly can’t solve them all from a school board dais, but I believe that each of us has the responsibility to do what we can, where we can, whenever we can to make our corner of society and the world a better place to live.
I believe in a better tomorrow that embraces gun violence prevention, universal pre-Kindergarten, free and healthy meals for every student, and solar panels on every school. I see in the eyes of my daughters and all of our students that our best days are ahead of us. As a county, we need to reset, reorient our priorities, and rebuild. I am ready to take on that challenge and work with our community to bring the joy back to education.
I invite you to again join me on this journey. I won’t succeed without your support on the campaign trail, financially, and at the ballot box in November. Most importantly, I need you to register to vote in the Democratic School Board caucus, the details of which I have outlined below.
Together, let’s bring the joy back to education.
Forever in your service,