Fairfax GOP Announces Slate of School Board Candidates

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Fairfax GOP Announces Slate of School Board Candidates

Nine Candidates Endorsed by Acclamation Last Night

The Fairfax County Republican Committee officially endorsed nine candidates for the Fairfax County Board of Education by acclamation last night in Falls Church, Virginia:

At-Large: Vinson Palathingal
At-Large: Priscilla DeStefano
At-Large: Cheryl Buford
Braddock District: Zia Tompkins
Hunter Mill District: Laura Ramirez Drain
Mount Vernon District: Steven Mosley
Providence District: Andi Bayer
Springfield District: Elizabeth Schultz (Incumbent)
Sully District: Tom Wilson (Incumbent)

“I am thrilled to endorse our fantastic slate of candidates for school board,” Fairfax GOP Chairman Tim Hannigan said today. “All of our candidates are well-qualified, and they are running for the right reasons.”

Mr. Hannigan believes the GOP-endorsed slate of fiscally conservative education reformers has “a real shot” at winning majority control of the school board this November. “The current board majority has only wasted our money,” the chairman lamented. “The board has lost sight of its core mission of fostering student achievement.”

The GOP-endorsed slate would “refocus our public schools on education, not indoctrination,” Mr. Hannigan said. “We need to get back to basics.”



Dear Friend,
I am really glad to report that I have received the Republican endorsement on Tuesday. I have submitted my papers as well on Tuesday, officially certified now & on the ballot for one of the three At-Large seats on Fairfax County School Board!

Thank you so much to FCRC for the endorsement. FCRC endorsed 9 of us on Tuesday. See the photo here, from L to R: Tom Wilson (Sully), Steven Mosely (Mount Vernon), Andi Bayer (Providence), Cheryl Buford (At-Large), Priscilla Destefano (At-Large), Elizabeth Schultz (Springfield), Laura Ramirez Drain (Hunter Mill) and Vinson X. Palathingal (At-Large). Zia Tompkins (Braddock) (not present in the photo) also received the endorsement.

All Fairfax citizens can vote for 4 school board candidates on November 5th, for 3 At-Large and 1 for your individual district. Please follow the Neighborhood link below, if you need to find out your district.

On November 5th, we have a critical opportunity to change the way our School Board does business in Fairfax County for our students, teachers and taxpayers.

Consider “WHY” School Board matters:

  • Nearly 53 cents of every county real property tax dollar you paygoes directly to FCPS’ $3+ Billion annual budget. Only 25% of county residents have children in our public schools.
  • Everyone’s property values are tied to the success of our local public schools.
  • The reputation of our schools inextricably tied to our county’s economic future; with excellent schools, businesses are eager to locate here and our graduates are able to find good jobs.
I believe that it is time to have a School Board that will focus on educational excellence for every student, not on Social Engineering. That is why I am asking for your support. Please help me represent your voice, your values and stewardship for your tax dollars by personally committing  time and resources to help me win November 5th.

Will you help me run a successful campaign and win, and in turn to represent you on your School Board?

Learn more at:
Running countywide for School Board (400 square miles area, 1.2 million people, 735,000 registered voters) is an expensive affair. Fairfax county has more people than 9 states of the US. The estimate for a winning At-Large campaign in Fairfax is about $ 200,000. I need the help of every parent, teacher and taxpayer who believes the children in our area deserve better leadership that focuses on academic rigor, the efficient use of taxpayer dollars, transparent decision-making and upholding parental rights.

This November’s election may likely set the direction not only for the public school system, but also for Fairfax County and Virginia State for the next decade or more. Your donation is imperative to the success of my campaign and future direction of our county, our state and our nation! Please consider donating $250, $100, $50 or $25 - more if at all possible! You are indeed instrumental to getting me elected.

Every dollar matters - no donation is too small…or too large!  

You can also send a check payable to 'Vinson For School Board' to: Vinson For School Board, PO Box 661, McLean, VA 22101.
  • There is no limit on campaign contributions.
  • Individuals and corporations can write checks to the campaign.
  • Campaign contributions are not tax deductible.
I have 2 Meet & Greet events coming up: (1) Friday, May 10th, 7-9 pm in Chantilly  (2) Saturday, May 11th, 4-6 pm in Alexandria. See more information below. Many of you have already attended my past Meet & Greet events and wrote checks. Still, you are welcome to just come to these upcoming events in a show of support and meet more of my supporters. I think it will be very helpful in building this "Common Sense" movement from the ground up. 

Would you also consider the gift of your time?
Please let me know if you would be willing to assist me with one or more of the following critical campaign-related activities. Each activity is only a 1-3 hour total commitment between now and the Election.
  • Host a meet-and-greet* to introduce me to your friends and neighbors;*crucial, as elections are won by winning over one hand, heart & mind at a time!
  • Pass out campaign literature in your neighborhood
  • Pass out campaign literature in additional neighborhoods
  • Put a yard sign in your yard - You pledge and our team will install
  • Put up yard signs around the community - You receive pledges, let us know & our team install
  • Send a fundraising letter to friends and neighbors
  • Hand out literature at Back-to-School Nights in September/October
  • Assist at a polling precinct on election day to pass out literature to voters

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in helping to make a real difference in our public schools and our community!  
Feel free to share this with other parents and taxpayers who are interested in School Board elections. Remember, the next School Board will spend $12+ Billion taxpayer dollars, 75+% which is funded by your real property and other local taxes. You will pay the bill – so pay attention to the election!

Now, it is the season of extreme campaigning. I hope to you see you on the campaign trail often. Thank you so much for all your support. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 


Vinson Xavier Palathingal


Upcoming Events

May 10th, Friday 7-10 pm    Meet & Greet Fundraiser hosted by Tojo & Tessy Thatchenkery AND Siby & Susha Pothen, at Thatchenkery residence, 4711 Autumn Glory Way, Chantilly, VA 20151

May 11th, Saturday 4-6 pm    Meet & Greet Fundraiser hosted by Dr. Javad Hassan & Sabiha  at their residence, 4601 Neptune Drive, Alexandria, VA 22309                                                              

Please help elect Vinson, A Champion for Academic Excellence and Your Voice on Fairfax County School Board.


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Our mailing address is:
Vinson For School Board
P.O. Box 661
McLean, VA 22101


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Joe Galdo Launches Bid for County Board Chairman

At last night’s Fairfax GOP meeting, Republican Joe Galdo announced his candidacy for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The following are his prepared remarks: 

Thank you, Tim. As Tim mentioned, my name is Joe Galdo, and I’m running for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

I have lived in Fairfax County for 37 years. During that time I have seen traffic congestion worsen, our schools become overcrowded, taxes rise year after year and the county government expand beyond the point of being manageable.

In short, I believe that government has grown too big, too intrusive, and it spends way too much. I am running for Chairman to fix this.

As your Chairman, I will fight to get a handle on spending, so we not only can provide sufficient funding for high priority needs — but also reduce taxes.

Award-Winning After-School Math Program for K-12 Students

Transparency in government is important to me. I will put the county’s checkbook online, for all taxpayers to see. And why shouldn’t you have quick, easy access to that information? After all, it’s your money!

We must not only fight to make Fairfax County affordable again… it’s also time to make Fairfax safe again!

As your Chairman, I will fight to give our police the tools they need to get drugs and gang violence off our streets, out of our schools, and out of Fairfax County!

Finally, government exists to serve the people — not the other way around.

To that end, I will fight to empower parents with more control over their children’s education. Our public schools need to get back to basics — no more radical indoctrination under the guise of Family Life Education!

Offering serious and challenging mathematics to intellectually gifted students

I am in this race to win — and I intend to spend the next five months campaigning for not only myself, but also for Republican candidates up and down the ballot, all across Fairfax County. Together, we can win this election!

I truly believe that, together, we can make Fairfax affordable again. We can make Fairfax safe again. And yes, we are going to make Fairfax great again!

I will be available after the meeting to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you all, God bless you, God bless Fairfax County, and God bless America!

To learn more about Joe Galdo, or to volunteer, visit his official website at


Anger erupts in McLean over youth treatment center
Fairfax County is taking a new look into whether Newport Academy's residential homes are legal
By Peggy Fox

MCLEAN, Va. — Angry residents opposing a teen rehab treatment center packed McLean High School Wednesday night. The for-profit Newport Academy bought three homes across the street from the high school. 

More than 600 people attended the meeting to hear from Jamison Monroe, the CEO of Newport Academy, a high-priced teen rehab treatment company.

The company purchased three adjacent homes on a private drive off of Davidson Road. The homes are being turned in to Newport Academies with dormitories for 8 residents each.

Let all ginseng lovers get the real ginseng from Wisconsin

Putting a three-house business in the middle of a neighborhood did not require a zoning change because Monroe designated them as group homes for people with disabilities. They're protected under the Fair Housing and the American Disabilities Acts. But angry neighbors argued they shouldn't be.

"You're a for-profit business. Don't even try to pretend you're a non-profit," said Victoria Mechlin, one of many citizen speakers at the meeting. She has a disabled child and says she understands the need for group homes. But not these.

"Classifying under the ADA, American disabilities, substance abuse and recovery, yes, it falls under disability, but none of these are actually residents. Residency is meaning, you live here. He's playing it both ways," she said. 

Her argument and others is that the Newport Academy clients are temporary residents. She thinks the federal protections are for permanent residents. Fairfax County supervisor John Foust, who represents McLean, said the county is looking into the fine print to see if Newport Academy is a group home or something else that needs a zoning change. 

"One company buying multiple homes on the same street -- in my opinion, that changes the character of the neighborhood and I am opposed," Foust told the crowd.

Peggy Fox

From July to November, the three homes sold separately for a total of about 9 million. The realtor who sold two of them says he was only told an investor was looking to "park cash." He insists he didn't know a treatment center was coming. And after the homes were sold, the secrecy continued with non-disclosure agreements.

Mechlin questioned Monroe about the secrecy, "Group homes don't require that level of discretion. What were you hiding from?" 

"I do not know why we had NDAs," responded Monroe. He later told WUSA9 he doesn't know if there were any NDAs because his company hired a local real estate firm to find the homes and handle the transactions. Monroe said Newport Academy follows all local, state and federal laws -- including laws designed to protect individuals who need help.

Jamison Monroe sent this statement to WUSA9:

Last night’s event was an indication of the terrible stigma facing people seeking mental health treatment. I have heard many disrespectful comments about people with mental health issues, but rarely have I heard prejudice directly leveled against a teenager who speaks openly about her need for services, or a mother who shares intimate details of her daughter’s struggles, as occurred last night. I am so grateful for these brave folks who stood up and shared their personal stories and also for those people in the room who did speak out against the disrespectful behavior. The spirit of the law enacted to protect the people Newport Academy treats, a group of which I am proud to be a member, was to prevent concentrated NIMBY efforts as we are witnessing here, and allow this protected class to be able to receive necessary services outside of institutions.

When I was a teenager, I was sent out of state three different times for treatment because there were not sufficient services available close to my home. It has been shown that when people can be treated closer to home, they do better. Newport Academy currently offers services within seven different communities across the US, and the teens and young adults who come to us for evidence-based treatment include adolescents from Fairfax County, Virginia. For 10 years now, we have been receiving requests from both clinical professionals and families to open a facility in Northern Virginia.

Newport Academy will always abide by the state and local laws and regulations. The law is clear that group residential facilities for up to eight persons with mental health issues are permitted “by right.” There are no concentration provisions in the county or state code that prevent successive properties from being utilized as group residential facilities. We believe there will be far less impact due to the fact that these are the only three houses on a private road. There is more than sufficient space to park the number of cars that will be at the facility.

All of our services are accredited by the Joint Commission and are covered by health insurance. Families are only responsible for their copays and/or deductible which are outlined in their health insurance benefits plans.

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