Yianilos Announces Candidacy for School Board
Chris Yianilos worked on education issues as a staffer for former U.S. Sen. John Warner.
Chris Yianilos, a former deputy chief of staff for retired U.S. Sen. John Warner, announced his candidacy for Alexandria School Board in District B on Thursday night at a meeting of the Alexandria Republican City Committee.
Yianilos, who currently works for Virginia Tech as its director of federal relations on Capitol Hill, said he would like to take his experience working on issues of kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education in Warner’s office and translate it to Alexandria.
“You don’t have to look too far into the newspaper to know there are some real challenges facing the school system,” Yianilos said. “I think I can bring a fresh set of ideas, a fresh look.”
Yianilos is married with two children under the age of 4. He and his wife have lived in Alexandria for 10 years.
While his children aren’t currently enrolled in Alexandria City Public Schools, he said he’s talked about the school system with many people—including some who have moved out of Alexandria specifically because of the reputation of the schools. He said this is something that has to stop.
“I think if you ask about people’s experiences with the school system, some love it and others have deep concerns,” said Yianilos. “And they’re both right.”
Yianilos said he has “serious concerns” about ACPS following issues of fiscal mismanagement, investigations of test fraud in its adult education program and “the idea children can’t go to their neighborhood school.”
He said he’d like to get the opportunity to get “knee deep” in the issues to find solutions.
Yianilos said he has never met ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman, but would like to sit down and ask him questions.
“Someone asked me if I think Sherman should resign,” Yianilos said. “I’ve never talked to him, so I think that would be irresponsible to say that. My knowledge of the details is at the level of the general public."
The election for school board will be held Nov. 6. Del Ray resident Karen Graf launched her campaign last month in an effort to secure a seat representing District A.
See the map attached to this story to review neighborhoods and their districts.