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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Community honors outgoing school board member Sandy Evans

Sandy Evans (sixth from left).
The Mason District school community paid tribute to school board member Sandy Evans at a farewell reception Nov. 21 at Justice High School.

Evans, who represented Mason District on the board for the past 10 years, is retiring at the end of the year. Her successor, Ricardy Anderson, was elected in November.
Sandy Evans (left) and Justice High School Principal Maria Eck.
Evans, a co-founder of SLEEP, a parent organization that focused on ensuring high school students are well rested when they get to school, says getting the board to agree to later start times for high schools, in 2014, was one of her biggest achievements on the board.

Other accomplishments cited by Evans include Bailey’s Upper Elementary School, the Portrait of a Graduate and strategic plan, ending early Monday closures at elementary schools, higher pay and benefits for parent liaisons, Vietnamese language instruction at Falls Church High School, Mason Crest Elementary School, and changing the name of what had been JEB Stuart High School to Justice High School.

“The name change was controversial but it was the right thing to do,” Evans said. “Although it was difficult, the community came together in the end.”

Mason Supervisor Penny Gross lauded Evans’ courage throughout the name change. “She faced a lot of criticism but never wavered,” Gross said.

“Evans is all about justice, about leveling the playing field for all students,” said Fabio Zuluaga, region 2 superintendent.

Justice Principal Maria Eck presented Evans with a bracelet made by Justice students, and a PTA representative gave her a lifetime PTA membership.

Del. Kaye Kory praised Evans for being “persistent, strong, and full of integrity.” School board member Janie Strauss (Dranesville), who is also retiring at the end of the year, said Evans always sought “to do what was right for children, not what was easy.”

“We have incredible students who inspired me,” Evans told the audience. “This is truly a diverse and inclusive community.”

Among her main regrets, Evans expressed disappointment in not being able to get Falls Church High School moved up in the renovation queue, “although it was not for lack of trying.” That school is finally on the path to renovation.

In her last few weeks on the board, Evans says she will work on gaining more needs-based funding for high-poverty schools and for financial assistance so lower-income high school students won’t have to pay fees for extracurricular activities. “We need to level the playing field,” she said, adding, “Ricardy Anderson will continue that effort.”

“Anderson is going to be great,” Evans said. “I trust her instincts.” 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Sandy for your service.