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The Loudoun County School Board heard introductory remarks on Monday — the first of two consecutive days of public hearings — from 13 candidates vying to fill the seat on the board representing the Leesburg district, which was vacated by former member Beth Barts on Nov. 2.

Although the field started out with 16 candidates, several dropped out of the running by Monday’s meeting, leaving 13 candidates seeking the appointment.

After School Board Chair Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) called the meeting to order, the board first heard from members of the public, who were given one minute each to speak on behalf of their preferred candidate.

Sheridan at one point halted the proceedings and directed the board to take a five-minute recess when one speaker refused to yield the microphone.

After the public comment portion, each candidate was then given five minutes to deliver an opening statement to the board.

The 13 candidates: René Camp, Todd Cimino-Johnson, Rebecca Clark, Stephen Cypher, Colin Doniger, Andrew Fernandes, Andy Jabbour, Tom Marshall, Erika Ogedegbe, Michael Rivera, Julia Sisson, Francis Spampinato and Lauren Shernoff then laid out an introductory case for their candidacies before the board.

Numerous candidates called for the school board to abandon what they described as partisan politics and focus on improving students’ performance in the school district, and others urged more emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

The chosen candidate will be appointed for an interim position on the school board that will last through Dec. 31, 2022.

The board is expected to reconvene at 5 p.m. Tuesday for the second day of hearings to select an appointee. Board members will then ask the candidates questions on their policy positions, qualifications, personal backgrounds, and other areas of consideration.

The school division has not yet set a date for when board members will appoint a candidate to fill the Leesburg seat.

(1) comment

jke

Sisson won that round!

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