For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2013
|For more information, contact the Dept. of School and Community Relations at 703-228-6004 www.apsva.us|
During its annual organizational meeting this morning, the Arlington School Board unanimously elected Abby Raphael as Chair for the 2013-14 school year. Raphael’s term as Chair begins immediately and will expire in June 2014. She fills the position held for the past year by Emma Violand-Sánchez who remains a member of the School Board.
James Lander was unanimously elected to serve as Vice Chair of the School Board for the upcoming year, filling the role previously held by Sally Baird.
Raphael discussed the work of the School Board in the coming year, saying, “This school year will be one of collaborative leadership, with each School Board member playing an important role. The Board will continue to address enrollment growth, as we expect to have more than 24,000 students enrolled this fall and more than 30,000 students by 2021. Adopting our Capital Improvement Plan next spring will be a significant part of the Board’s work this school year.”
She continued, “The Board will maintain its focus on student achievement and eliminating achievement gaps with an emphasis on retaining and developing our high quality teachers, recruiting more high quality staff, and reviewing various academic programs. We also are aware that the fiscal climate continues to be a challenging one so we will focus on setting clear priorities for our Fiscal Year 2015 budget, continuing our evaluation of what is most effective and efficient in providing excellence in education for each student.”
Raphael concluded, “We recognize that collaboration with the Arlington community and with the Arlington County Board is critical to the success of Arlington Public Schools. I look forward to working with my School Board colleagues, the Superintendent, the APS Executive Leadership Team, community members and the County Board as we continue to strive for success for each of our students.”
About the New School Board Leadership
Abby Raphael joined the School Board on January 1, 2008. She is the Board’s liaison to the Washington Area Boards of Education and is a member of the National Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Council of the Metropolitan Washington Area Council of Governments. Raphael is a member of the Second Chance Advisory Committee of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families Foundation, which provides an early intervention substance abuse program for Arlington youth. She also focuses on youth and families as a member of the Board of Directors of the Arlington YMCA.
A former Arlington Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Raphael earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University. She and her husband, Stuart, have lived in Arlington since 1989. They have two daughters; the older daughter is a 2013 graduate of Washington-Lee High School, and the younger is a freshman at Washington-Lee.
Before joining the Arlington School Board in January of 2009, James Lander began advocating for the educational needs of children through various leadership roles and positions at the school and countywide levels. He earned his Bachelor of Science, Marine Engineering from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and his Masters of Engineering from the University of Virginia. Lander is a veteran of the first Gulf War, having served in Saudi Arabia, and he continues to serve as an officer in the Naval Reserves, having been recalled after 9/11 in support of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom. Lander, his wife, and their daughter live in the Oakcrest neighborhood of Arlington.