Your Views: Westfall for School Board

Your Views: Westfall for School Board
Bridget Shea Westfall

To the editor:

The City of Alexandria is an amazing place to live, and I’m proud to call it home. But the dirty little secret nobody wants to admit publicly is that our public schools, despite the incredible efforts of our many amazing educators and staff, are our Achilles heel.

We all know about the most common conversation in our city: whether to send your kids to Alexandria City Public Schools, move or pay for private school. This past year, as a life-long, public-school advocate, I made the heart-wrenching decision to follow ACPS leadership and numerous elected PTA leaders in Alexandria and leave ACPS.

Last year nearly 500 children, equivalent to an entire elementary school, left ACPS – the first decline in enrollment in about 15 years. Was it ACPS’ innovatively challenged and seemingly unfocused COVID-19 response on re-opening schools? Was it our horrific Standards of Learning scores? Or was it the fact that political ideology trumped the superintendent and school leadership and defunded the police in schools?

Next week we have a City Council and School Board election. We need people who are ready and willing to lead and put the education and safety of our children first. Politics cannot supersede the education and safety of our children. We are a great city. We deserve public schools that are a reason for people to move to and stay in Alexandria.

In District B, I’m particularly proud to support Bridget Westfall. She is a strong leader who will work with ACPS leadership when they are right and boldly help them get to the right place when the system needs help. She has proven to be a leader over and over again this past year with her advocacy to get schools reopened, for outdoor lunches and for vaccinations and testing.

I hope you will join me in supporting Bridget.

-Chris Yianilos, Alexandria