"I have no crusades to carry to the board."
And for at least one long meeting of the Fairfax County School Board, Joy Korologos -- the board's newest member -- carried no crusades.
For almost four hours she sat patiently. She said almost nothing. She listened. She yawned. She listened some more.
And as her first board meeting dragged toward midnight, fellow board member Anthony Lane of the Lee District warned, "I hope you've learned to live without much sleep."
Korologos, mother of three, is a former school secretary, PTA activist and former campaign worker for John F. Herrity, the Republican chairman of the county Board of Supervisors who named her to the school board last month. She is replacing member-at-large Gary L. Jones, who accepted the No. 3 position in the Department of Education about 18 months before the end of his school board term.
Korologos labels herself a political conservative. Her predecessor was considered one of the most conservative members of the board that governs the nation's 11th largest school system.
Conservative politics run in the family. Her husband Tom is active in national Republican circles and served on the congressional relations transition teams of the Reagan, Ford and Nixon administrations. Now a congressional lobbyist, his clients include the American Baseball League, according to his wife.
Korologos, who celebrated her 45th birthday recently, began her political career in 1971 with Herrity's first campaign for the Board of Supervisors. Herrity later appointed her to the search team that recommended Jones for the school board job more than four years ago.
With school budget hearings approaching, Korologos was appointed to replace Jones barely two weeks after his resignation. She said Herrity bypassed appointing a nominating committee to fill Jones' seat because of time constraints. And as to why she was selected for the spot, Korologos said, "Jack Herrity came to me. He knows I'm low-key."
With her appointment to the $5,500-a-year school board post, Korologos quit her part-time secretarial job at Forestville Elementary School in Great Falls, explaining, "The school board, combined with my family, will be a full-time job." Her children are 11, 16 and 19.
She added that her past experience with school affairs -- as a Fairfax County schools employe and as chairman of the human-relations committee of the Great Falls PTA -- will allow her to "bring some nuts-and-bolts ideas to the board."
Korologos, who lives in Great Falls, moved to the Washington area 19 years ago from Utah, where she was a speech and hearing therapist in Utah public schools and a special-education consultant to the state Board of Education.