PTA Leader Seeks Catoctin School Board Seat

The race for the Catoctin District seat on the School Board is heating up, with another candidate officially announcing her bid last Friday. Jenna Alexander, an outspoken advocate who has worked within local parent teacher associations for the past five years, kicked off her campaign May 10 in front of around 30 supporters at The Barns at Hamilton Station.

All nine seats on the school board are up for election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The Catoctin District is currently represented by Chris Croll, who the school board appointed in December to finish out the remainder of the term vacated by Eric DeKenipp. Alexander was one of six candidates considered for the appointment, which runs through the end of the year. Croll is not seeking election to the seat in November.

“I believe that we achieve the best results for our students when we collaborate with others and look for creative solutions,” Alexander said. She has served as treasurer and president of Hamilton Elementary PTA, the Hunt District PTA director, overseeing all of the PTAs in Loudoun, and currently the Virginia PTA’s vice president of advocacy.

Alexander said she wants to keep politics out of school board decisions.

“There is no room for partisan politics when it comes to protecting our rural schools, ensuring that our students are safe; that there is transparency in communication; that curriculum builds an appreciation for the arts and other cultures alongside STEM; and that we support rural economy careers and choices for our homeschool families,” she stated.

Despite the desire to stay neutral, Alexander has already picked up the support of another Loudoun candidate—Forest Hayes, who is running for the Catoctin District seat on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors as a Democrat.

Hayes said that he sees “eye-to-eye” with Alexander on school issues, specifically promoting greater workforce housing density in eastern Loudoun and less density in the western part of the county. They also agree on renovating small schools in western Loudoun, addressing overcrowding and class sizes, and allowing homeschooled children to participate in public after-school programs.

“Because of our close alignment on these issues and Jenna’s outstanding record of experience, I wholeheartedly endorse her for the Catoctin School Board,” Hayes stated.

aparker@loudounnow.com

12 thoughts on “PTA Leader Seeks Catoctin School Board Seat

  • 2019-05-18 at 6:54 am
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    I bet this will cause a bit of a storm. We now have the Catoctin District democrat candidate publicly breaking his word, and supporting someone who is not the democrat endorsed candidate. We are still in mid May, and already the fellow is demonstrating his word means nothing. It now seems like there is really only one candidate now who seems honest about what he stands for. And interestingly enough, it is an independent candidate for the Board of Supervisors.

  • 2019-05-20 at 1:32 pm
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    So it goes with big city rich men Lawgh. They always think they’re the smartest person in the room.

    Riddle me this Law2gh: Why didn’t Kristin go for Chair? It’d have been a walk away.

  • 2019-05-20 at 7:04 pm
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    Lawgh, when did Forest say he would only endorse candidates endorsed by the Democrats? I’m pretty sure the school board is nonpartisan, and I’m also pretty sure you made that up. Why should there be a “Democrat-endorsed” or “Republican-endorsed” candidate for school board, and where does it say candidates can’t endorse whoever they want? Smells like party politics to me. The guy’s got a solid track record.

    Also, the independent guy may seem nice, but “nice guy” is not a job qualification. I don’t think putting “Nice Guy” on my resume would get me very far. Now that I think about it, he’s never said what makes him qualified for the job. I want to see a resume from him. Sam is connected to Geary Higgins’ son-in-law and he’s misrepresenting the truth.

    • 2019-05-23 at 10:16 am
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      Honestly, having met all of them, I think all three Catoctin BOS candidates are “nice guys.” Luckily that’s not a problem! Not commenting on any of their policies, I do think there is value in having folks on the BOS who have first hand experience farming and agricultural operation here in Loudoun. We’ve had a lot of other occupations represented on the Board for many years, but given that farming still underlays a lot of what makes western Loudoun…western Loudoun, having an ag voice on the board would be good. Everyone says “preserve the rural west”…but since everyone says it, it almost is boilerplate to the point of being devoid of meaning. We need folks who recognize that the status quo in the west doesn’t necessarily lead to a vibrant future for ag entrepreneurs in the years to come. We need concrete farmland preservation programs, zoning to protect prime farmland soils, and examination of public/private partnerships to bring a processing and aggregation operation so we can take advantage of the larger scale buyers that might be interested in purchasing locally grown food.

    • 2019-05-23 at 4:20 pm
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      Who is Geary Higgin’s son-in-law? And how am I misrepresenting the truth?

    • 2019-06-01 at 6:59 am
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      Hi there. Geary Higgins’ son-in-law here. You can call me Mark. I’ve voted Republican twice in my life and both times it was for Mr. Higgins, whom I know from personal experience to be an exceptional individual and man of his word.

      I’ve never met Sam. I do like him though. Pretty sure I’ve met you, Loudoun Farmer, and I gotta say you are much nicer in person. Maybe you can join forces with the Loudoun Trump people who think I somehow profit from being related to a Supervisor who, for them, isn’t Conservative enough. Pure comedy.

      Most of Forest’s money comes from outside of Loudoun. Most of it comes from DC developers. He wants you to believe that by supporting high-density development in the east, homebuilders won’t continue to seek land in Catoctin. He’s wrong. It’s a baseless position conceived in a board room. That’s why I, a Democrat who married into a Republican family, who makes his own voting decisions, will NOT vote for Mr. Hayes. I’m in for Sam and I look forward to meeting him for the first time.

      • 2019-06-03 at 9:33 am
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        Hi Mark, I think you got my comment confused with one of the other commentors here. I don’t have a problem with anyone here…certainly not with Waterford Foundation or Journey through Hallowed Ground!

    • 2019-06-01 at 7:24 am
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      How is Sam connected to Higgins’ son-in-law?

      Higgins, on the one hand, says he is a preservationist and a fiscal conservative. Yet, he gave the Waterford Foundation, to which his son-in-law received significant income from, $150,000 in ToT funds to “repair their finances”, an inappropriate use of ToT funds. The Waterford Foundation has over $6 million in assets and does not pay property taxes while using their building to hold fundraising events for Higgins via the Mark Levin book tour (and weddings, corporate retreats…). Give me a break. This is after the G.A. refused to funnel the $200,000 Higgins’ first sought for them which Ron Meyer opposed because it was actually illegal. There is a memo available where Higgins’ staff acknowledges this then asks how they can work around it. Higgins appears to be a member of most preservation groups but refuses to state which ones. When explicitly asked, he says he doesn’t know. Ever hear of a conflict of interest? He gave Loudoun Mutual insurance $42,000 of ToT funds (his apparent pork slush fund), with over $44 million in assets, to pay re-zoning fees. Decades later, Loudoun Mutual wants their property zoned commercial so they can expand the building or sell the property at a windfall so the buyer can develop it further. How is this preservation and how many is this a legitimate use of ToT funds? Higgins pushed to widen Rte 15, while saying he supported the JTHG. How is this preservation? And he also changed the zoning to allow for the mega gas station at Point of Rocks bridge. How is this preservation? Much of this he did with BFF Randy Minchew, famed developer lawyer. Minchew’s firm also represented the PEC, where he tried to deny it until the “confidential agreement” was produced, signed by J. Foote, his partner. Oops. The Waterford Foundation has been accused of gentrification for decades. Through their “preservation efforts”, some in the African American community had to sell their properties for pennies on a dollar because they could not afford sewer connection fees. The Waterford Foundation needs to give back the Methodist Church, part of the language in the deed, in restitution, as well as the Second Street School, all proper in the preservation of the cultural diversity and doing the right thing.

      • 2019-06-01 at 9:34 am
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        Hi there. Mark Sutton here. Private citizen and independent thinker who married the daughter of a politician.

        I served on the board of the Waterford Foundation and proudly pay dues and donate money when possible. Sorry you are not a fan. Your accusation that I received money from WF? Well that’s just wrong.

        You want to make this clown show about me? By all means. Let’s talk about all the money I get from all these non-profits. I like the circus. Love freaks and clowns and baseless claims. I’ll be your huckleberry.

        You will be disappointed and I’ll add another story to the long list of fascinating experiences I did not sign up for when I married a beautiful woman with a politically active father.

        I hope somebody is reading this whole thread. Getting hammered from left and right for simply existing is peak 2019. Party on Loudoun.

  • 2019-05-22 at 4:47 pm
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    More density in the east have either of these fools look at a map recently.

  • 2019-05-24 at 4:24 pm
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    Luke,
    As friendly advice I suggest you answer Sam’s question or apologize. Just because someone is running for office doesn’t exempt someone from being sued for libel/slander. Accusing someone of fraud (misrepresenting the truth) clearly is an intentional act communicated to others to harm their reputation in the community unless you can prove it is the truth. Unlike the garbage we hear on the national news when one billionaire says awful things about another billionaire; local politics should (in my opinion) be civil on a personal level even if we disagree on issues – don’t you agree?

  • 2019-06-02 at 5:00 am
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    Mark Sutton was only paid $90,000 by the JTHG when Higgins “found” him for the JTHG. From Mark’s LinkedIn page:

    Volunteer Experience & Causes
    Waterford Foundation
    Member
    Waterford Foundation
    February 2013 – Present (3 years 3 months)

    “I am an active member of the Waterford Foundation and sit on the Board of Directors. In addition to providing guidance on all things Web, I volunteer my time by managing the organization’s Facebook advertising campaigns.”

    Geary is repeatedly listed as a donor to the Waterford Foundation. As a board member Geary is supposed to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and to disclose any personal or professional interest in any item coming before the Board which might be reasonably interpreted as a conflict and which might be perceived as rendering direct personal gain for oneself, one’s family, or any organization which a Board member has a financial interest. BUT, it is OK for him to give the Foundation $150,000 to “repair their finances” ?

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