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Interim School Board Member Appointed

by ARLnow.com April 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm 4,210 17 Comments

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.”

  • Pentagonian

    “Release the McCracken”

    • drax

      Do you know his brother Phil?

      • nunya


      • Clarendoom

        beat me to it. LOL!

  • Suburban Not Urban

    So I clicked through on the link for “school capacity issues” and looked at the graph there. Is that really the capacity planning projections that all this is based on? They took the steepest part of the graph and just projected it out linearly. My academic and job background is math and planning projections and that is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard(especially for a “world class” organization). Do they really not look at things like county planning docs, GLUPS changes, census demographics etc to project future needs?

    • drax

      It’s not clear from the chart that that’s how they did it.

    • i’m down with that

      I agree with your concern. I too have been alarmed at how casually APS treats enrollment projections.

      Throughout the 2000s, enrollment was roughly flat, so they projected flat enrollment and totally missed the influx. Now that enrollment is on the rise, they draw another straight line and one schools official was quoted as saying it could be as high as 30,000 kids by 2020 at current growth rates. That’s just a stupid straight line extrapolation of current enrollment trends.

      Where is the analysis of demographics? If they bothered to ask, I bet APS could learn a thing or two about demographics and econ development trends if they asked the county.

  • Elmer

    So what’s his position on those “learning cottages”?
    If you’re spending $18,615 per pupil and have a $499+ budget, you don’t call them trailers.

    • Elmer

      Sorry, I skipped the “learning cottage” in my youth. It should be $499+ million dollar budget.

  • DSS10

    The linked chart looks bogus. They should show how many kids are in the pipeline (i.e.: preschool) and do some historical analysis of student’s moving in and out of the district (churn) then build to suit. The “number of schools number”” is very deceiving too in that older schools were for the most part smaller and had smaller class rooms. It would be more informative if they showed class size and total school age population instead. This would have received a C- in my undergrad demographics class.

    I have seen a bunch of school districts over build on the basis of a demographic hump. The other key learning is the operational expense associated with newer buildings, they can be much more expensive to maintain and run as opposed to older construction. “If” the country was smart, they would build schools that could be re-purposed from elementary to high schools to community centers with the next decrease in school population. Remember I said “If”…….

  • balles qui traversent votre visage

    “control f + phil”


    • Elmer

      Huh? Bullets that pass through your face?

      • drax

        Les Français sont vraiment bizarre.

  • DeportEmAll

    Is this dude married?

    • YeahRight

      Not until they change Virginia law….

  • John

    As with the County Board, the School Board has clearly shown that diversity in Arlington County is non-existent.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    I wish him the best of luck. There is going to be some serious thick skin and intestinal fortitude required with respect to the decisions coming up in the not-too-distant future.


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