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Fmr. School Board member expected to replace Katie Cristol on the County Board

Tannia Talento in 2019, when she was Vice Chair of the Arlington School Board (courtesy photo)

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Former Arlington School Board member Tannia Talento could be tapped to finish out the term Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol vacated early.

Cristol stepped down from her position on the Board on July 4 to lead the Tysons Community Alliance, a booster organization for the area. State law requires the Board to fill her vacancy within 30 days of her departure, per a county staff report.

On Saturday, the Board is slated to nominate Talento for the position. If appointed this weekend, Talento will be sworn into during the Board’s next meeting, on Tuesday, July 18. She would serve until Dec. 31 of this year, leaving at the same time as Board Chair Christian Dorsey.

The November general election, which includes two Democrats, a Republican and an independent, will determine their replacements.

Talento has lived in Arlington with her family for nearly two decades. She served one term on the School Board from 2017-2020. If appointed, she would also continue in her current role as the regional director in the office of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, where she manages his Vienna office and leads outreach work.

“Ms. Talento is an Arlington resident, born and raised in the DMV, that has worked as a community leader and public servant,” a county report said.

Before joining the School Board, Talento worked in corporate law for 15 years as a legal secretary and assistant.

“She used these skills to support the Arlington Public Schools, students, and young professionals through committees, commissions, and related organizations,” the report said, listing the half-dozen school committees she worked on during that time.

Talento co-founded Arlington Schools Hispanic Parents Association, which became a vehicle for increasing Covid vaccination rates among Latinos. It also informed her advocacy for a more cautious school reopening plan during the pandemic and county oversight of AHC Inc. after deteriorating conditions at its affordable housing property, the Serrano Apartments, came to light.

In 2021 and early 2022, she joined the boards for various local organizations, including Arlington Free Clinic, Aspire! Afterschool Learning, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.

She also filled her time participating in the Arlington County Civic Federation Task Force in Governance and Election Reform, which studied whether to adopt ranked-choice voting and other changes to the size and structure of the County Board and School Board.

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