2021 Alexandria District A School Board Candidates

In November 2021, voters in Alexandria will choose from 15 candidates for nine positions on the Alexandria City School Board. There are five candidates vying for three seats in District A, which covers the eastern part of Alexandria.

Click here to access the profiles of candidates running in other districts of Alexandria, see the district map and find out more.

The following candidates run for the District A school board. They are presented in alphabetical order of last name.

Willie F. Bailey, Sr.


Bailey is no stranger to Alexandria. He is the product of the Public Schools of the City of Alexandria and served on the Alexandria City Council from 2015 to 2018.

He is no stranger to service, either. He spent 21 years in the service of the United States Army and spent over 30 years as a firefighter in Fairfax County where he is currently the Deputy Fire Chief. Bailey founded the nonprofit Firefighters & Friends to the Rescue, which works with local schools, shelters and churches to identify children in need and donates thousands of winter coats, bags to back and school supplies every year. In addition, he is a coach and involved with a number of other charities and organizations including Carpenter’s Shelter, Operation Warm, Toys for Tots, and Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority (ARHA).

“I have supported the education of children in our community for decades and come to the school board to make sure we are doing what is right for our children,” Bailey told Alexandria Living magazine. “What sets me apart the most as a candidate is that I will always do what’s right for our students with a track record to prove it. “

Bailey said if he is elected to the school board, he is committed to doing what is in the best interests of those he represents, including parents who have lost faith in CSGA over the last few years. year and a half.

Bailey’s main priorities are:

  1. Navigate safely in situations of COVID-19 and its impacts on students, parents and educators.
  2. Expanding access to preschool education, developing mentoring programs and closing the achievement gap so that all of our students have the chance to succeed.
  3. Prioritize addressing capacity issues to ensure our facilities keep pace with our growing number of students.
  4. Fight to ensure that our teachers and support staff receive fair compensation for all they do for our community.

When it comes to student and educator safety, Bailey said, “I am committed to an evidence-based approach that relies on advice from the CDC and medical experts, and I will do what is right. for all stakeholders in our education system. . As a health and safety officer, I understand what it takes to keep our community safe. “

Aloysius “Ish” Boyle


Boyle has lived in Alexandria for over a decade. His two sons are students at Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and his wife was a finalist for Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

Boyle served as a Marine for seven years and now works in cybersecurity. He has served on the board of directors of the Travis Manion Foundation and Dog Tag Bakery.

According to Boyle, he will bring strong leadership, common sense and the ability to ask and solve tough questions if elected to the school board.

“I offer diversity of thought to the school board, immense respect for teachers and administrators and the perspective of a parent who wants the best education for their children and all the children of Alexandria. “

Boyle said some parents have expressed frustration and a loss of confidence in CSGA leadership over the past year.

“Parents of CSGA students can trust me because I have a record – as a parent myself, a member of this community, and as a Marine Corps and business leader – to serve with transparency. , responsibility and purpose. “

Boyle’s three main problems are:

  1. Improve academics. “We need to address the learning loss that has occurred over the past 18 months, but also look for ways to improve academics at all levels. We need to make sure that every learner is challenged and thrived and has access to differentiated courses. “
  2. Keep school resource officers (SROs). “I stand in solidarity with our directors and administrators. We need to create an atmosphere in which our teachers and students are safe and can do their best. “
  3. Retention of teachers. “We will never attract or retain the best talent in our schools if we cannot provide a safe and positive learning environment where teachers feel supported and empowered. “

The COVID-19 pandemic is a dominant topic in this school board election and Boyle has said he supports law enforcement, social distancing and having lunch outside. However, he believes that students should be able to get medical exemptions for wearing the mask and that parents should be given the option to pursue distance education, if they have safety concerns.

“We can navigate this pandemic together safely AND provide our students with a high quality education. Let’s tap into our community’s well of innovation, intelligence and problem-solving ability, and work together to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs, ”Boyle said.

Deanna MR “D” Ohlandt


Ohlandt is the parent of three CSGA students who attend the Cora Kelly School for Mathematics, Science and Technology and a long-time resident of the Lynhaven neighborhood.

“I also have experience in administration in educational and non-profit contexts, and I have specific experience in forming leadership teams in policy-based governance, which is the system. governance used by the Alexandria City School Board, ”Ohlandt told Alexandria Living Magazine. .

Ohlandt knows firsthand what it has been like to address the unique challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed for CSGA students and families. “As a member of the school board, I will advocate for clear communication and transparency in decision making at the highest level. “

Ohlandt has four priorities if she is elected to the school board:

  1. Give parents a voice within the school board.
  2. Promote clear and transparent communication with families, students and teachers about school division policies.
  3. Ensure equitable access to resources.
  4. Connect our communities to our schools and schools to our communities.

Ohlandt strongly supports maintaining an in-person option for students as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants. At the same time, she is committed to making school buildings as safe as possible and to following the most recent guidelines to include wearing masks, social distancing, asymptomatic testing and clear quarantine procedures until. all school-aged children are eligible for the vaccine and transmission rates drop.

Michelle rief (incumbent)


Rief has been a member of the school board since 2018 and has lived in Alexandria for 15 years. Her three children attend public schools in Alexandria. She is a former university professor and an executive in the nonprofit education field. She got a doctorate. in African American Studies and taught history and sociology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York, and later at Northern Virginia Community College.

When asked why voters should re-elect her, Rief said, “I have worked hard to represent students, families and teachers while guiding our school systems through the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted the importance of informed, trustworthy and responsive leadership. I will continue to ask tough questions and push for viable solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. “

Rief plans to continue to prioritize communication and collaboration with families and the community.

Its main priorities are:

  1. Protect the health and safety of CSGA students and staff.
  2. Support the transition to in-person learning for students and staff.
  3. Complete capital projects on time and on budget and ensure routine maintenance of existing school buildings.

Rief believes in following the guidelines provided by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Alexandria Health Department. This includes masking, vaccination promotion, and physical distancing. “I think children learn best in person,” Rief explained, “but I support giving families the opportunity to learn virtually during a public health emergency.”

Jacinthe Greene (incumbent)


Greene is currently completing her first term at the School Board and has lived in Alexandria since 2002. She started her own business as a freelance market consultant and meeting planner after working 10 years in Corporate America.

When asked why she should be re-elected, Greene said: “I firmly believe that every child in Alexandria deserves a high quality education, regardless of where they live, their family’s economic status, their race. , ethnicity, gender or unique learning traits. “

Her passion is defending underprivileged women, children and civil rights for all, which she believes her record at the school board demonstrates. She fought for equity in education for all students, increased salaries and professional development for teachers, and the retention of long-term custodial staff as CSGA employees instead of l outsourcing.

She intends to continue to provide opportunities for parents, teachers, community members and students to engage in their native language, including outside of working hours, and to effectively communicate expectations about life. learning of their child.

The main issues that Greene runs on are:

  1. Closing the achievement gap that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has particularly affected Latino, black and disabled students.
  2. Create community schools by listening to the voices of students, parents, teachers and community members.
  3. Achieve educational equity for the most vulnerable students in Alexandria.
  4. Commitment to our teachers by ensuring that Alexandria is competitive enough to retain and attract the best educators and support staff for our children.

Greene believes in keeping students in school in person and supports all mitigation efforts to keep students, teachers and staff safe.

Click here to access the profiles of candidates running in other districts of Alexandria, see the district map and find out more.

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