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VOTE411 Voter Guide

School Board Blue Ridge District

Loudoun County, Virginia is divided into eight magisterial districts: Algonkian, Ashburn, Blue Ridge, Broad Run, Catoctin, Dulles, Leesburg, and Sterling. The magisterial districts each elect one representative to the School Board. In addition, there is one At-large representative. The Loudoun County School Board is elected to a four year term. The Loudoun County Public School, LCPS, system is managed under the direction and authority of the Loudoun County School Board. The chairmanship of the School Board is elected annually by its members. While the School Board makes decisions relating to school policy and curriculum, it receives funding through the Board of Supervisors.

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  • Ian J. Serotkin
    (N)

  • Ram Venkatachalam
    (N)

Biographical Information

What do you believe is the top priority for your district, and what is your plan to address it?

How do YOU describe the job of School Board member?

What about your background makes you a good choice for this position?

What position papers/ Q&As have you completed and where can a voter find them?

What long-term (chronic) issues do you want to address while in office?

Twitter @IanSerotkin
Experience Leader, More Recess for Loudoun County Board of Directors, Aldie Heritage Association (2017-18 term) Odyssey of the Mind School Coordinator and Coach National Referee with USA Fencing Accomplished Business Leader
Education M.S., Information Systems and Technology, Johns Hopkins University B.S., Computer Science, University of Illinois
Age 39
The straw that broke the camel's back for me - why I decided to run for school board - is when my daughter had 31 kids in her 4th grade class and my son had 29 kids in his 1st grade class, each with one teacher and no help or aides.

My top priority is to make sure we are doing an effective job at keeping up with the tremendous growth that Loudoun County has had, to eliminate overcrowding in our schools, and to lower class sizes. The new schools that are opening are opening full, because they’re the schools we needed five years ago. Some communities in Blue Ridge have had to switch schools four times in the past five years because of the constant redistricting every time we open a new school and shuffle kids around to try and balance things out. I intend to make sure that we’re getting ahead of the growth curve, and that no children and teachers are suffering in overcrowded classrooms while waiting for schools to be built.
The job of a school board member is to set policies, to provide high-level oversight for the school administration as a whole, and to prepare the proposed school budget for the Board of Supervisors, and to be an advocate for our public school system.

My ultimate long-term goal is to transform Loudoun County Public Schools into the best public school district in the country. I don’t feel that we’re investing enough in our kids and the school system that educates them, and as a school board member I will advocate tirelessly to improve our schools and make that an achievable reality.
I've been effective in getting things done, with the results to prove it. As a leader of the More Recess for Virginians state advocacy group, I helped pass a new state law on recess - in a bipartisan fashion - and then worked with the Loudoun school board to put a new policy in place, unanimously, that more than doubled the amount of recess time our kids get in Loudoun in grades K-5. When I served on the Aldie Heritage Association Board of Directors, in my role as Membership Chair I quintupled our number of dues-paying members as well as working with the county to relocate construction of a modern firehouse to avoid destroying the historical charm of the town of Aldie. When I served as an Odyssey of the Mind coach, I coached my team to a district championship and state finals despite competing against kids a full grade older. When I served as a USA Fencing national referee, I presided over matches that determined who would represent the United States on its Olympic Fencing Team.
https://loudounnow.com/2018/05/25/parent-activist-announces-run-for-school-board/ (Clickable link can be found in Position Paper #1)

https://loudounnow.com/2019/08/08/school-board-candidates-in-their-own-words/ (Clickable link can be found in Position Paper #2)

https://loudounnow.com/2019/05/03/letter-ian-serotkin-purcellville/

https://www.loudountimes.com/news/aldie-father-vying-for-blue-ridge-school-board-seat/article_d0d2236a-682c-11e8-b1f2-3f531077a9c7.html

https://loudounnow.com/2018/05/09/loudoun-parents-students-push-for-more-recess/

https://www.loudountimes.com/news/loudoun-parents-students-lobby-board-for-more-recess-time/article_e55cf978-6367-11e8-a440-6f3b1c30b700.html
I want to raise teacher and staff salaries, and make sure we’re paying all LCPS employees a living wage. Too many of the teachers and staff that work for them live in Clarke County, or Winchester, or Fairfax, or West Virginia because they can’t afford to live here in Loudoun.

I also intend to focus on initiatives shown by research and science to improve school safety – threat assessment programs to identify threats and prevent violence before it happens; social and emotional learning (SEL) programs to establish a healthy school environment that promotes safety; implicit bias training to help eliminate disproportionate and discretionary student discipline.

LCPS needs to do a much better job of communicating effectively with the community. A big part of that means being open and transparent about issues when they arise.

I’m also very concerned about some really big systemic issues regarding racial disproportionality in discipline, access to gifted programs, and other areas.
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