Endorsement by Brian Butler, Mason Crest ES’s Former Principal

I am not normally in the business of endorsing candidates for school board positions because to be honest many are not educators and I am not always sure how much they understand about what it truly takes to work in a school day to day. I am not saying school board candidates have to be educators, and I have known many whose hearts are truly in the right place, but I just don’t normally publicly endorse school board candidates.

Until TODAY!

I believe that if we are going to start to move the needle toward true equity and excellence for all students, our school boards have to have some representation of former educators who have worked in the trenches in schools and believe that we have to abandon the idea of isolated teachers in favor of teams of teachers doing the right work in order to take Collective Responsibility for all students.

This morning I had the opportunity to spend over three hours with Ricardy Josma Anderson (full disclosure) a parent whose children go to my former school, Mason Crest and a former public school principal who is now running for the school board(Mason District) in Fairfax County. I don’t live in Fairfax and cannot vote but have a vested interest in Mason Crest, the Mason District and Fairfax as a whole since I spent almost half of my career in the district.

I knew Mrs. Anderson as a parent and have gotten to know her a lot better recently having had multiple communications with her via text and phone, but our meeting this morning blew me away and solidified the fact that I needed to publicly say she is THE REAL DEAL. To be honest Fairfax County Public Schools needs her much more than she needs Fairfax. She would never say that, but I am saying it.

Mrs. Anderson’s passion to help ensure equity for all (and before people say she wants all kids to get the same thing -stop it!) giving kids what they need when they need it, Kid by Kid, Skill by Skill, not because of a label, but ensuring that all students who are expected to be independent adults one day are given access to grade level essential curriculum in order to have a chance to be successful. Students who have mastered essential skills in an area will be challenged appropriately but it won’t be because of a label it will be because the team based on team developed common assessments will know what skills to Target!

Our conversation centered on Mrs. Anderson asking lots of questions, about supports and resources schools needed to be successful, showing that she is a listener and learner. She also shared her experiences as a school based administrator which she has many.

These experiences are invaluable in seeing the big picture of the wonderful opportunities and immense challenges that are present in schools today.

It was as if we were to “seasoned veterans” on a porch discussing our craft, our wonderful profession and the quality of people it attracts but how we are losing many because of our traditional educational cultures, mindsets and structures that needs to be abandoned and/or deconstructed.

Mrs. Anderson was still very optimistic at the possibilities for our children and our teachers if the right conditions continue to be nurtured and/or cultivated in schools and districts.

If you live in Fairfax County and live in the Mason District section of Fairfax, please consider the information below, as I am highly supportive of Ricardy Anderson’s candidacy for a seat on the School Board!

Her focus... Kids All Kids!

-Brian Butler
Former Principal, Mason Crest Elementary

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Ricardy Anderson