The Falls Church City Public School Board appointed Sonia Ruiz-Bolanos, a parent-activist with the system’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and the City-wide Family Resource Center, by a 6-1 vote Tuesday night.
Ruiz-Bolanos fills a seat on the board vacated by the resignation in December of school board member Lawrence Webb.
She will serve in the position until the end of 2021, pending the outcome of an election in November to fill the seat for a full four-year term.
Ruiz-Bolanos was one of 11 Falls Church citizens who submitted a request to receive the appointment.
No other person was publicly nominated Monday. Board member Phil Reitinger said he felt the most important criteria “is a demonstrated record of commitment” to the system’s work, though he said it was “a very close question.”
Board member Shawna Russell said that she felt appointing someone with a more contrarian point of view to the current board’s majority might prove valuable, and she voted no on the appointment of Ruiz-Bolanos.
Others pointed out, however, that Ruiz-Bolanos represents a diverse position on the board given her work with ESOL students, in particular.