Saundra Davis is Running For At-Large Seat on the Fairfax County School Board
Saundra Davis is running for one of the at-large seats on the Fairfax County School Board and believes strongly in prioritizing advocacy, communication, and inclusion within her system.
Ilryong Moon has served on the board for 20 years as both Braddock District representative and at-large member. Additionally, he founded Global Leaders of Fairfax County, which equips students to become “change agents in their community and the world.”
Saundra Davis, a Burke resident and mother to three children, announced her candidacy Monday for one of three at-large seats on the Fairfax County School Board. If elected, she pledges that she will ensure it returns to academic excellence.
She intends to work hand-in-hand with both county and state officials to ensure students have access to the best teachers, educational content, resources, and support systems available. She plans on emphasizing vocational competency at school board meetings. In her opinion, more emphasis should be placed on marginalized classes. She’s critical of recent changes to standardized test scores and grading systems – saying their focus has shifted away from educational issues toward politics – something she views as potentially imperiling both learning and national security.
After moving her family to Fairfax County for its educational opportunities for their children, she felt that promise had been diminished since COVID-19 spread. Now, her top campaign priority is restoring academic excellence – while addressing learning loss and its mental repercussions from extended school closures; in addition, she will advocate for revising the curriculum to incorporate themes such as social justice and environmental awareness.
Davis is a longtime community activist and volunteer. She serves on the board of directors for her local branch of the NAACP and is active with the St. Johns County Women’s Democratic Club chapter. Additionally, Davis holds a master’s degree in health care administration and gerontology and worked as a clinical social worker before earning level four lifetime leadership certification from the National College Learning Center Association.
In an interview with the Washington Post, she stressed the importance of having diverse viewpoints represented within groups making decisions. She cited examples such as racial injustice and “critical race theory” as areas where diversity of thought has been absent from discussions. Furthermore, she hopes for increased diversity among current members of the School Board who all belong to one political party.
Saundra Davis is an educator and advocate who firmly believes all children deserve access to quality education. Though this may be a lofty goal, Saundra remains determined to see it through. As such, she is running for Fairfax County at-large school board as an at-large candidate, using Trust Transparency Together as her campaign slogan as they represent her ethos and core values.
She understands the trust parents place in their education systems for their children’s future and believes in open and direct dialogue between school boards, parents, teachers, and students to build it further.
She is passionate about providing all students with access to rigorous and relevant curricula that equip them for future careers, with particular emphasis placed on culturally responsive teaching and learning, which she sees as essential to academic success for all her students. Furthermore, she supports inclusion initiatives, so all her pupils may flourish into becoming the best versions of themselves.
Norma Borenstein-Gordon has spent over 30 years spanning multiple sectors. From technology start-ups that require technical proficiency to education spaces where she could cultivate student engagement, her experience working in both public schools and start-up ecosystems gives her a unique understanding of culture, student voice, and social-emotional learning – providing her with an innate insight into this space, through relationships built with students and colleagues that foster dynamic learning between all parties involved.
Her research explores the intersection between social-emotional learning, student voice, and community partnering in high-performing schools. She was co-founder and former executive director of a school leadership academy that provided training on social-emotional learning to new principals and assistant principals; furthermore, she conducted research into student outcomes.
Saundra Davis grew up in a military family, teaching her the value of collaboration and teamwork. After attending Colorado State University for her undergraduate studies, she continued at USC to obtain two master’s degrees – Health Care Administration and Gerontology, respectively. Saundra worked at a nursing home as director of the memory care unit, where her advocacy skills were further honed.
Saundra Davis is running for Fairfax County School Board as an at-large member and understands the trust parents place in the FCPS education system; she wants to build on it to ensure students can have equal access to an equitable education and has focused her campaign around three principles – “Trust, Transparency and Together.”
As a graduate student in counseling psychology at the University of the Pacific, Davis has extensive experience working with vulnerable communities. She believes mental health should be prioritized within schools as an ideal venue to offer services. After having spent time working at community centers, she witnessed first-hand how a lack of resources has an adverse impact on people’s lives.
As is true across colleges nationwide, UC Davis has experienced an upsurge in students seeking help for mental health issues. In fact, the campus counseling center CAPS saw a 60% increase in clients over the last year! They offer one-on-one counseling sessions as well as group therapy and skills classes to help students manage life’s difficulties more successfully.
In her campaign, she advocates for providing students with more resources to deal with stressors like homelessness, incarceration, and abuse. Furthermore, she supports more support groups for marginalized populations as well as the implementation of a systemwide plan to meet students’ mental health needs.
She advocates for increased funding of mental health in schools and ensures sufficient staff in this area. It is crucial that students feel safe accessing mental health resources that will support their academic, social, and emotional success.
She has extensive experience in mental health care and has practiced as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, offering culturally competent services for marginalized communities. Additionally, she conducted research into disparities in access to care while emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across academia, policy, and practice – including serving as deputy director of the National League of Nursing/Walden University College of Nursing Institute for Diversity Equity & Inclusion (NDEI).
Saundra Davis, of Burke, is running for one of three at-large seats on the Fairfax County School Board in Burke. Her campaign priorities include protecting parents’ right to make education decisions for their children, reinstating academic excellence as a goal, and making sure student mental health does not become compromised due to political fights within the School Board.
Davis is a former PTA president with an intense devotion to education for children. Her previous experience as the director of a memory care unit in a nursing facility allowed her to sharpen her advocacy skills; these will serve her well when serving on the school board. Additionally, Davis possesses experience with government and community service activities.
While she recognizes that students benefit from a robust social network, she understands the need for schools to be free from politics and emphasize academic achievement over ideological activism. She feels the current Board is too dominated by activists who have lost sight of its primary mission – her focus must be restoring an emphasis on phonics/coding/STEM education as this area needs improvement.
Saundra has two primary priorities: overcrowding and its effect on students and families, and making sure the school system focuses on providing job preparation to its graduates rather than simply producing graduates. She is active with Reopen Bucks as well as other reopening groups, filing public records requests in an effort to gain visibility into what’s happening behind the scenes.
As well as these core issues, she is concerned with declining standardized test scores and new grading policies, the departure of teachers and parents from FCPS, and polarized School Board meetings – she believes these should serve as opportunities for dialogue and negotiation between members of the Board.
“Groups of decision-makers cannot function effectively without diversity of thought and by shutting out other points of view from discussion,” according to this expert. She supports allocating funding towards programs that help make students feel welcome in their classrooms, including Purple Star programs for military-connected students.