Three school board members – Sandy Evans (Mason), Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill), and Jane Strauss (Dranesville) – are not running for re-election.
Ryan McElveen (at-large) and Dalia Palchik (Providence) are not filing as candidates because they are running for the Board of Supervisors. McElveen is running for board chairman, and Palchik is running for the Providence position on the BoS.
The two Republican members of the school board – Elizabeth Schultz (Springfield) and Thomas Wilson (Sully) – will face strong Democratic candidates if they run for re-election. Neither has officially announced yet.
School board members who have confirmed that they are running for re-election include Karen Keys-Gamarra (at-large), Ilryong Moon (at-large), Megan McLaughlin (Braddock), Tamara Derenak Kaufax (Lee), and chair Karen Corbett Sanders (Mount Vernon).
The Fairfax County Democratic Committee will meet in May to determine who to endorse in cases where there is more than one Democrat vying for a school board seat.
No candidates on the Republican side have so far announced plans to run for the school board, says Jim Trollinger, chair of the Mason District Republican Committee.
The Democratic and Republican primaries are June 11, and the general election is Nov. 5.
So far, two Democratic candidates are running for at-large seats on the school board:
- Abrar Omeish is co-chair of the Fairfax County school board’s Human Resources Advisory Committee, former president of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, former member of the school board’s advanced academics committee, and founder of Give Youth, a youth-led nonprofit organization.
- Rachna Sizemore Heizer represents the Braddock District on the board of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and is a member of the boards of the Special Education PTA, the FCPS Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities, and Arc of Northern Virginia.
In the Springfield District, where the school board seat is held by a far-right Republican, Elizabeth Schultz, two candidates are competing in the Democratic primary:
- Robert Walter is director of the SUNY Washington Internship Program and is a member of the school board’s Human Resources Advisory Committee.
- Laura Jane Cohen is a substitute teacher, PTA president at Cherry Run Elementary School, and former preschool teacher.
There are two Democratic candidates running in the Providence District:
- Jung Byun is a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton and a member of the FCPS Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee.
- Karl Frisch is executive director of Allied Progress, a consumer watchdog organization, and chair of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s LBGTQ+ Committee.
In the Hunter Mill District, Melanie Meren is seeking the Democratic endorsement. A marketing professional, Meren worked at the U.S. Department of Education, serves on the school board’s Human Resources Advisory Committee, and was a co-leader of the #IamFCPS grassroots campaign to oppose budget cuts.