For Immediate Release:
July 2, 2012
|For more information, contact the Dept. of School and Community Relations at 703-228-6004 www.apsva.us |
Dr. Emma Violand-Sánchez Elected as New Arlington School Board Chair
During its annual organizational meeting on Mon, July 2, the Arlington School Board elected Dr. Emma Violand-Sánchez as Chair for the 2012-13 school year. Her term as Chair begins immediately and will expire in June 2013. She fills the position held for the past year by Abby Raphael who remains a member of the School Board.
Sally Baird was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the School Board for the upcoming year, filling the role previously held by Violand-Sánchez.
In assuming her new role as Chair, Violand-Sánchez said, “I am honored to accept the chairmanship of the Arlington School Board.” She continued, “Arlington Public Schools is a great school system. We are proud of our phenomenal staff, students and our diverse community. We need to continue to focus our work in the next year within the framework of our Strategic Plan to ensure that every student is challenged and engaged, that we eliminate achievement gaps, that we recruit, retain and develop high quality staff, and that we provide optimal learning environments to our growing student population to meet the needs of the whole child.”
She also took a moment to thank Raphael for her work over the past year. “I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Mrs. Raphael for her leadership and accomplishments this past year. We all owe her a thousand thank you’s – mil gracias – for dedicating so much of her time and talent to leading the Board at such a critical time.”
Violand-Sánchez also thanked the other School Board members for their contributions to advance the mission of the school system.
Noting the many complex changes that APS will face over the next few years that will require the Board and staff to work together closely, Violand-Sánchez also stressed the importance for the school division and community to welcome new administrators and teachers into the APS team.
She concluded by saying, “Throughout all, our focus must remain on our students. As a Board, we will support our Superintendent, his leadership team, and all APS staff and teachers as they work with the Board through this time of change, to enable them to better serve our children.”
Violand-Sánchez joined the School Board in January 2009. She is a member of the Northern Virginia Community College Board, representing Arlington County and is the founder and Chair of the Dream Project, Inc. Violand-Sánchez is the founder and past president of the Board of Directors of Escuela Bolivia Inc. and member of the Board of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She is a member of the Committee of 100, Donaldson Run Civic Association, American Association of University Women, Arlington Retired Teachers Association, the National School Boards Association, the Virginia School Boards Association, and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials.
The former supervisor of the English for Speakers of Other Languages/High Intensity Language Training (ESOL/HILT) Office, Violand-Sánchez retired from APS in July 2007. She received her bachelors and masters from Radford University and her doctorate degree in education from the George Washington University and is currently an adjunct faculty at Georgetown University. She has two children who are also educators and graduated from the APS. Violand-Sánchez was born in Bolivia and since 1978 she has lived in Arlington.
Baird joined the Board in January 2007, serving as Vice Chair from January 2008 to June 2009, and as Chair from July 2009 to June 2010. As a member of the Board, Baird serves as liaison to the Facilities Advisory Council.