The Paw Print

The Paw Print

The Paw Print

New School Board Members: Who are they?

New School Board Members: Who are they?

Virginia has had elected school boards since 1997, making it the last state in the nation to switch from appointed members. Former incidents within the County have led to a replacing the school board in its entirety in the most recent elections. But who are these new board members and what have they promised for this fresh start?


The At Large position has been filled by Anne Donohue .This position is chosen to represent an entire population instead of a subdivision. Donohue is a lawyer and participates in many local organizations including Loudoun Moms Demand Action, Loudoun NAACP, Loudoun Chorale, and St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church. She promises a safe and powerful public school system and a secure community here in Loudoun County. 


April Chandler represents the Algonkian District. Chandler is a teacher, working in early childhood education and substitute teaching in several elementary and middle schools in Sterling. She is a participant of many different national and local groups as well as Loudoun County Democratic Committee, Moms Demand Action, NAACP, and Together We Will Loudoun. Chandler works toward the advancement of public education and teachers. 


The representative for Ashburn is Deana Griffiths . Griffiths has a background in Marketing, Development, and recruiting, She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. She prioritizes School Safety, Fiscal Responsibility, and Removing Bureaucracy from School Administration. She has volunteered with The Heritage Girls, LCPS, and the Ashleigh Community HOA.


Dr. Linda Deans  is the school board member for Broad Run. Deans has worked as director for the STEM program at Langley Research Center. She also has experience as an educational consultant and a curriculum writer. She earned her PhD in Urban Services. Because of her past leadership roles in education, she prioritizes staff diversity and personalized education. 


Karen “Kari” LaBell is the delegate for Catoctin. LaBell believes in parent involvement and that every student deserves to leave high school with marketable skills. With her background in the special needs department, she works to protect these students. She has 50 years of experience as an educator, and 25 years assessing work readiness skills, job training methods, and learning styles. She has volunteered as a poll watcher and election officer. 


The School board member representing Dulles is Melinda Mansfield. In the past, Mansfield has worked to improve literacy screening, teacher preparation, instruction, curriculum, and data transparency. She has accomplished these goals by assisting in writing, advocating for, and ultimately passing 10 education laws. Mansfield was a former educator and is currently a literacy tutor.


For the Leesburg District, the member is Lauren Shernoff . She is a LCPS parent and an active member of the community and local school. Shernoff has 16 years of experience working in public education, including working to build a preschool in Honduras for children with HIV. She prioritizes making teachers feel heard, a non-partisan school board, involving parents in their child’s education, and supporting the arts.


Dr. Sumera Rashid speaks for the Little River District. Rashid has lived in Loudoun County for more than 10 years and is the mother of two boys. She has spent 20 years practicing dentistry, and 10 years in education. She values Special Education, School Safety, and Parental Engagement. She works towards making sure every child has access to essential resources and advocating for Teachers and families in the community. 


Arben Istrefi is the delegate for Sterling. Istrefi has five years of experience as Chief Operating Officer at a Tech Education company. He recently was a nominee for NOVA 40Under40, which highlights 40 regional leaders for making a difference. Istrefi went to public school himself and sees the value in public education. He believes in trust and transparency, innovation in STEAM, mental wellness, and community engagement. 


This full change in the board will hopefully be for the better. If all goes well, this new school board can work to direct Loudoun County Public Schools away from headline grabbing controversy and back to its core purpose of teaching and learning.


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About the Contributor
Teaghan Morrison, Staff Writer
Teaghan is a Freshman in her first year of Journalism. She plays Varsity Field Hockey for Heritage. When she's not practicing Field Hockey, she enjoys spending time with her friends. She's very excited for her first year in Journalism!