By Kathi R. Levin and Liz Walker
There is a common saying that if you need something done, find a person who is already busy to do it. That can truly be said of long time Centreville resident and active Sully District Democrat, Stella Pekarsky, who is running in the Nov 5th election for the Fairfax County School Board. “Rest” is a four letter word that does not seem to be in her vocabulary!
A mother of six children between the ages of 5 and 17, Stella has a wealth of experience with our Fairfax County Public School system as a parent, former FCPS teacher, PTA leader, and advocate. Yet, because she cares about what is happening in our school system and wants to represent a larger Sully community viewpoint than does the current representative, Thomas Wilson, a Republican running for re-election, she has added “candidate” to her roles.
Stella is a first generation American with a Greek heritage, so her experience learning English as a second language, and her family’s experience in navigating the public school system, gives her a unique insight into the experience of a large portion of the FCPS student population. As a former FCPS ESOL teacher, she knows the challenges teachers and our school system face when it comes to serving the needs of these children.
Stella will be a strong voice and representative for the Sully District. She is committed to listening to the community to hear what is important to them and what they want out of our public schools. She knows the difficulty of prioritizing resources with needs.
Stella has over a decade of PTA service, including president, in numerous district schools. She currently serves as VP of Outreach on the Fairfax County Council PTA and has her finger on the pulse on the concerns of parents and community members. Repairing the relationship between families and their Sully District School Board representative will be a priority for her on the board.
Overall, Stella believes Fairfax County Public Schools have much to be proud of, including a commitment to high standards and a quality education for all. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do better, especially when it comes to serving more vulnerable populations of students, such as those with special needs and English language learners. Among her primary concerns is equity for all students — in opportunity, resources, behavioral consequences, and programming. she wants to ensure that all students are successful and meet their full potential, regardless of the path they choose post-graduation.
As a long time child advocate, Stella was one of the parent leaders of More Recess for Virginians. She worked with other parents, state Sen. Chap Petersen (D- 34), and state Del. Karrie Delaney (D-67) on legislation in Richmond. The recess bill changed the law that prohibited localities from providing developmentally adequate amounts of recess for students.
Her vast community work includes serving as: advisory board member to Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters), VP of Outreach for Fairfax County Council PTA, member of the NAACP Education committee, at-large appointee to the Fairfax County Schools Student Health Advisory Committee, and Sully District appointee on the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees.
Stella is also co-owner and runs daily operations for of an air charter business based in Manassas.
Photo: With six children, Stella Pekarsky, Sully District school board candidate, and her family know first hand the importance of a first-rate public education system accessible to all
Kathi R. Levin and Liz Walker are members of Sully District Democratic Committee
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