To the editor,
Earlier this year I was proud to be a candidate for Alexandria City School Board for District B. Regretfully, over this past summer, I was forced to withdraw my candidacy due to a series of serious, adverse health events experienced by my family.
Since I withdrew my candidacy, many neighbors, friends and fellow citizens have asked me who of my former colleagues running for election I would support in this election. I consider myself fortunate to have had the unique opportunity of communicating and getting to know, to varying degrees, nearly all of the candidates for school board in District B. We are fortunate to have five dedicated individuals stepping forward to fill a critical role. Yet, on election day, you can only vote for three. While I commend all five, I intend to vote for Michael Brookbank, Marc Williams, and Kelly Carmichael Booz.
Michael Brookbank is precisely the type of person we need on our school board in Alexandria. He has lived in our city for over 25 years, is a parent of two elementary school-aged children in our public schools, and he is a leader. Michael served our country in the United States Navy as an officer for more than 20 years, commanding dozens of our best and brightest men and women. Our school board needs individuals who are not afraid to work with our superintendent, and who also have the courage to stand up and not be his rubber-stamp. Michael Brookbank has the first-hand educational experience and the leadership qualities we need.
Marc Williams has served on our school board for four years. When I was a candidate, I called Marc and promised him that I would not be running against him but would support his candidacy. Why would I do that? Because most of the current school board members are not running for reelection, and the next board will need some level of institutional knowledge and experience. I have spent my entire professional career in education policy, yet I knew that even at my level of experience I would have to lean on Marc in the early going. If Marc is not on the school board next year, we will have a decisively less experienced board, which will in turn not be able to as effectively stand up for students and teachers. Marc has served with distinction on the current board and earned another term.
Kelly Carmichael Booz is an educational professional who has poured her heart and soul into her campaign for school board. In my view, she has run the best campaign out of any of the current candidates and that speaks volumes to the dedication she would have on the school board. Kelly’s energy is unmatched in this election, and her experience in education will be a strong asset on the school board.