Now 4 Pursuing Vacant School Board Seat

Two more people have indicated this week interest in the vacant School Board seat, making four people who have raised their hands for the job.

The Catoctin District seat was vacated last week by Eric DeKenipp, who resigned with 14 months left in his first term.

As of Tuesday afternoon, four people publicly announced they would apply for the post: director of the Hunt District PTA Jenna Alexander, founder of Loudoun County Parents of Gifted Students Chris Croll, Lucketts Elementary School PTA President Amy Tribié, and former School Board member Bob Ohneiser. Others have said they may throw their hat in the ring but have not yet made their decision public.

The School Board is scheduled to appoint a new board member at its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Alexander, a 12-year resident of Loudoun, describes herself as a passionate advocate of the county’s rural school communities for the past five years. She is a familiar face at School Board meetings, often advocating for more resources for Loudoun’s smallest elementary schools. As director of the Hunt District PTA, Alexander provides training, guidance and advocacy support to the PTAs in 50 Loudoun County public schools. She’s also served as the treasurer and president of Hamilton Elementary School’s PTA. Her children attend Hamilton Elementary and Blue Ridge Middle School.

Alexander’s priorities, listed in a prepared statement, include ensuring aging schools have an expeditious path to modernization and renovation; developing a foreign language program for K-12 that also helps English Language Learners maintain their heritage languages; ensuring teachers and teachers assistants have access to culturally relevant professional development, mentoring support and competitive pay; better access for students and teachers to mental health resources; and providing special needs and gifted students the tools they need to be successful.

“My professional experience in investments and capital markets leading large, strategic, cross-disciplinary business change and product development efforts combined with my connection to parent concerns across Loudoun and my detailed understanding of the local school funding process, state and national education policies and legislation uniquely prepares me to immediately represent the diverse needs of the Catoctin District on the Loudoun County School Board,” Alexander stated.

Chris Croll

Croll, a former teacher and mother of two, announced on her Facebook page Tuesday her hopes to fill the vacant seat. Her sons have attended public, private and home schools, and currently attend Loudoun County High School and J.L. Simpson Middle School. Croll founded the support group for gifted parents Loudoun County Parents of Gifted Students, as well as a parent consulting group that educates and supports families across the nation. Her work includes training teachers and mental health practitioners on the social-emotional needs of asynchronous learners. She serves on the school system’s Special Education Advisory Committee, the Gifted Advisory Committee, and the School Board-appointed Special Education Ad-hoc Committee, and serves as a liaison for Simpson Middle School, developing business-education partnerships. Her column on education runs monthly in Loudoun Now.

Tribié, a 14-year resident of Loudoun County, worked as a music teacher for nine years, teaching at several public elementary schools throughout the county. She said she is seeking a seat on the board to work to ensure that Loudoun County Public Schools continues to produce excellent results and to advocate for the best interest of all students. Her top priorities include school safety, fine arts, special education, and gifted education.

Ohneiser represented the Broad Run District on the School Board for two terms. He challenged Tom Reed for the board’s at-large seat in 2011 and lost, and he launched an unsuccessful challenge against Jim Plowman for commonwealth’s attorney in 2015.

Those interested in being appointed to the Catoctin District seat must file a statement of interest with the School Board by noon Nov. 26th. This statement must include:

  • Documentation showing the applicant is a qualified registered voter and a resident of the Catoctin Election District;
  • a description of the applicant’s qualifications for appointment;
  • and any other information the applicant wants considered by the School Board.

This statement must be filed with clerk of the School Board Christine Coleman at the LCPS Administrative Offices or through email at clerk@lcps.org.

The School Board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26th to interview potential candidates for the seat and take public comment on the candidates. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4th, the School Board will appoint a member to fill the seat prior to a scheduled public hearing on the Waxpool Elementary attendance zone.

Both meetings will be held at the Loudoun County Public Schools Administrative Offices at 21000 Education Court in Ashburn.

The person appointed to the Catoctin District seat will serve until the term expires on Dec. 31, 2019.

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