With heavy hearts and mixed emotions, School Board Chair Laura Downs and School Board Member Dr. Susan Dimock announced their decision not to seek re-election as Falls Church City School Board members. In a poignant statement, the two board members expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to serve the school system and their eagerness to embark on new challenges while continuing to support the schools and engage with the Falls Church City community.
As their final year of a four-year term began, Downs and Dimock deliberated over the difficult choice, ultimately opting for a path that leads beyond their current roles. They acknowledged the honor that came with their service and the deep connection they had developed with the schools they cherished.
"We found serving on the Board to be demanding at times but always fulfilling and enjoyed working with our School Board colleagues (past and present), the Superintendent, teachers, staff, parents, and students," Downs and Dimock shared in a joint statement.
Both were elected in the fall of 2019 and began serving on the Board in January of 2020, just three months before COVID shut the schools down. "Laura and Susan have been steadfast leaders, guiding us through the tumultuous period of the COVID school closure and the momentous opening of our brand new high school," said Superintendent Peter Noonan expressing his gratitude for their remarkable leadership during challenging times. "Their dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to our students and staff have left an indelible mark on our district. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their exceptional service."
During her service, Downs has served as Vice Chair of the board in 2021 and is in her second year as Chair.
In a call to action, Downs and Dimock expressed their hope that individuals who share their love for the schools would step forward and take the mantle. “It is our hope that community members who love our schools as much as we do will step up and run for our positions.”
With the deadline to collect signatures for the ballot looming on June 20, the board members urged community members to consider the role of a School Board member and to reach out to them if you have questions about the process at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
With their eyes set on new challenges, Downs and Dimock pass the baton to their successors, calling upon the community to rise and join in the pursuit of excellence for Falls Church City's schools.