Interim School Board Member Appointed

The Arlington School Board appointed an interim board member to fill now-County Board member Libby Garvey’s empty seat through the end of the year.

Todd McCracken, the President and CEO of the National Small Business Association, will serve on the School Board until a new board member — to be elected in November — is sworn in. McCracken has not indicated that he’s interested in running for the seat.

In a press release, school officials hailed McCracken’s expertise in school capacity issues.

At last night’s meeting, the Arlington School Board appointed Todd McCracken to fill the vacancy on the School Board created by Libby Garvey’s election to the County Board in March. McCracken will be sworn in today in the School Board Meeting Room at 4 p.m., and his term on the School Board will begin immediately and continue through December 31, 2012.

A long-time school and community leader, McCracken was recently recognized as an “Honored Citizen” by the Arlington School Board for his extensive volunteer work with APS. He has been Chair of the Advisory Council on School Facilities and Capital Programs (FAC) and Chair of the FAC Projection and Capacity Subcommittee. In 2010 he co-chaired the School Bond Committee, and has served as representative to the Elementary Capacity and Crowding Committee, liaison to the County Council of PTAs, and a long-time PTA volunteer. He has also served on the board of the Tara-Leeway Heights Civic Association from 2006-12.

School Board member Sally Baird said, “As a citizen leader, Mr. McCracken has been highly engaged and is well-informed about the many complexities associated with Arlington’s increasing capacity needs. He is well known, and highly respected in both the APS school community and Arlington County through his many leadership roles, and has been one of the strongest voices to ensure a thoughtful, proactive and transparent public process as we address our current and future capacity needs. Mr. McCracken brings a unique and invaluable perspective to the Board at this very important point in time in our deliberations.”

McCracken said, “I am grateful for this opportunity to serve Arlington Public Schools and thank the Board for their support. My family has had children in both neighborhood and countywide programs, and I understand the challenges and benefits of each. We have seen first-hand how important it is for our schools to provide rich and varied learning opportunities so that each student can succeed. I will do my utmost to fulfill the trust and expectations of the rest of the Board, and will do my part to keep Arlington County as the best place to live and to raise a family.”

McCracken is currently president and chief executive officer of a national association, and has over 25 years of management, public policy, and non-profit experience.

A native of New Mexico, McCracken has lived in Arlington since 1988. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas where he now serves on the Board of Visitors. He and his wife Melissa have two sons, who currently attend Swanson Middle School and the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.

School Board Chair Abby Raphael thanked the many applicants for their interest. She said, “We are fortunate as a Board and as a community to have had so many qualified individuals interested in working with the Board. This made the decision particularly challenging, but we look forward to continuing our collaboration with all of them to make decisions that will ensure a strong instructional program and excellent learning environment for our students.”

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