At a recent forum hosted by the McLean Citizens Association for candidates running for the Dranesville district seat on the Fairfax County School Board, Elaine Tholen made it clear that she’s a candidate who has the background and vision necessary to be a productive board member. In addition to laying out her work in the education field as a teacher in other positions and time in community leadership positions, Elaine used her opening statement to tell the audience she’s running for school board because she wants “to see our schools do the best job possible to prepare our sons and daughters to be engaged, productive, and happy citizens of our society.”
“I come before you tonight with a big ask,” Tholen added. “I ask you to work with me to build inclusive neighborhood schools, with strong community partnerships for all of our students across Dranesville. I ask you to help me ensure that our students have the supports that they need to navigate the sometimes challenging, stressful, and uncertain years of schooling that they will go through before they leave us for college or other endeavors.”
She also highlighted the work that needs to be done to ensure “teachers are taken care of, that they have a living wage, and that they have the support staff they need to do the best job possible.” Furthermore, Elaine said the school board should look at school infrastructure so they can help address overcrowded schools and the issues that result for schools being over capacity, the maintenance issues that might be costing taxpayers money, and how the school system can be a leader in sustainability.
Of course, Elaine said all of this needs to be done while focusing in on preparing students for the “workforce of tomorrow” and ensuring they’re ready “to go onto college, community college, or straight to a good paying job.”
I’ll be posting more about the Q&A portion of the forum soon, but here’s video of Elaine Thoen’s opening statement in the meantime.