Out of a field of three applicants to replace departing member Phil Reitinger at a special meeting this Tuesday, the Falls Church School Board voted, 5-1, member David Ortiz dissenting, to elect Jerrod Anderson to fill the vacancy until the next regular election in November.
There was a motion to appoint Anderson, which all but Ortiz voted “yes,” then the vote was taken, the whole matter over in less than a minute. Ortiz was not asked to say who he would nominate had he been given the chance. It is assumed the move was taken to minimize the appearance of any discord on the board, and it was not reported in the system’s Morning Announcements that get emailed to hundreds of City parents daily.
Later, a statement over the signature of School Board chair Laura Downs, embargoed for release Thursday morning, was sent out which read as follows:
“The FCCPS School Board voted to appoint Jerrod Anderson to fill the position vacated by Phil Reitinger. He will serve in this capacity for the remainder of the calendar year.
“ Dr. Anderson brings many attributes to the Board, including his professional background as a federal health statistician, his service on the School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee, his experience volunteering in many roles with the schools, and his continued engagement with school board meetings and matters.
“The other eligible applicants were Ms. Bethany Rubin Henderson and Ms. Amie S. Murphy.
“The School Board was impressed with all three candidates’ educational achievements, professional experience, and community involvement.
“The School Board followed the process of soliciting cover letters, resumes, and public comments over the last six weeks and during an executive closed session on Tuesday night, the School Board members discussed the merits of each applicant, with the final vote occurring publicly.
“The FCCPS School Board encourages all applicants and interested community members to run for School Board elections this Fall, when three seats with four-year terms will be selected by public voting.”