The Loudoun County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to appoint Chris Croll as the board’s Catoctin District representative.
The seat was vacated in late October by Eric DeKenipp, who resigned with 14 months left of his term.
Croll is a familiar face to many Loudoun families, teachers school administrators. She founded Loudoun County Parents of Gifted Students a support group for gifted parents, as well as a parent consulting group that educates and supports families nationwide. She is a member of the school system’s Special Education Advisory Committee, the Gifted Advisory Committee, and the School Board-appointed Special Education Ad-hoc Committee, and a delegate on the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Council.
During a candidate question-and-answer session with the board last week, Croll said she would advocate for students in vulnerable populations, including minority students, special education students, gifted students, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students, and rural students. These student populations require “a little extra love and attention,” she said.
“They also represent a beautiful diversity that makes Loudoun County a culturally rich place in which to live. I want to help you develop policies and fund projects that allow all of our county’s children the opportunity to grow and be their best selves,” Croll said. “What I’ve learned is that doing right by these special populations results in greater opportunities for every student in the division.”
Joy Maloney (Broad Run), the one board member who commented on Croll’s appointment from the dais Tuesday, said, “I’ve worked with Croll extensively outside of the School Board, and I’m so pleased as a board to appoint her.”
She commented on the impressive slate of candidates that filed to fill the Catoctin District seat. “We have some really great people out there advocating for our kids, and I’m really proud to say that.”
Maloney encouraged the five other candidates to keep an eye on how the new Catoctin representative does. “If it’s something you approve of, then you’re in great shape, and if it’s something you’re not, feel free to run. We’re going to have an election in November,” she said. “So stay involved.”
The five candidates were: Jenna Alexander, the director of the Hunt District PTA and small school activist; John Beatty, an IT director and computer science teacher at a private school in Maryland; Zerell Johnson-Welch, an attorney and former chairwoman of the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Council; Bob Ohneiser, an attorney who represented the Broad Run District on the School Board from 2004-2011; and Amy Tribié, the president of Lucketts Elementary School’s PTA and former music teacher.
The last time the School Board appointed a member was in 2011, after the death of longtime School Board member J. Warren Geurin. Following Guerin’s wishes, the School Board voted unanimously to appoint Brenda Sheridan to the position, and she’s since been elected to two terms.
Immediately after the board’s vote to appoint Croll, the new board member was sworn in by Clerk of the Loudoun County Circuit Court Gary Clemens. Croll will serve the remainder of DeKenipp’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2019.