Your View: Vote for Veronica Nolan for school board

Your View: Vote for Veronica Nolan for school board
(Courtesy photo)

By school board members Stephanie A. Kapsis and Justin P. Keating (File photo)

To the editor:
We will complete our terms on the Alexandria City School Board at the end of 2015. We are endlessly proud of the great work done every day by Alexandria City Public Schools staff and students. We believe our school system is in as good as or better condition in almost every aspect than it was three years ago.

This is despite challenges that keep getting bigger: our buildings are getting older, our enrollment continues to tax the capacity of our buildings, the percentage of students who need English language learner services increases, and local and state and federal funding continues to be strained.

While progress is made, these challenges are not going away, and ACPS remains at a critical juncture. Leadership is important. We write today to encourage the voters of District B to vote for Veronica Nolan for school board.

Nolan is exactly the type of person the board needs at this time. She has substantive experience in education with a Master’s degree in teaching and five years of serving as a classroom teacher in D.C. Public Schools. After leaving the classroom, she went to work for the nonprofit Urban Alliance, helping open opportunities for high school students who often would not otherwise have a path to a wide range of post-high school options.

She has served on the boards of directors of several other nonprofit organizations, including Valley Drive Cooperative Preschool, D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates and Capital Area Asset Builders. Her tenure as executive director and CEO at Urban Alliance was nothing short of remarkable. It also included bringing the program to T.C. Williams.

She understands education. She understands and is motivated by the challenges of educating diverse populations. She has vast firsthand experience, both from the perspective of a chief executive serving under a board and as a board member overseeing administrators, of what role the school board can and should play in the continued upward trajectory of ACPS.

Her quality of experience and skills makes her a truly unique candidate. The board would be lacking without Nolan at the table.