Three incumbents on the Alexandria School Board have a solid chance for reappointment, despite challenges from seven other city residents, according to political insiders.
Judith S. Seltz, the current board chairman; Gene C. Lange, vice chairman; and Nelson E. Greene Jr. are all seeking their third three-year terms.
Mayor James P. Moran Jr., who noted that historically few incumbents have been denied reappointment, said the board favors candidates who have direct experience with the school system.
A number of past board members have come from the ranks of the local Parent-Teacher Associations, Moran said, explaining that the City Council often looks for "a representative voice -- someone who gets along with people well enough that when they speak you know they're representing the views of a substantial number of parents."
The seven-member City Council will complete the interview process for School Board candidates Saturday, and will name the three appointees at the June 26 council meeting. One of the toughest issues facing the new board is the redistricting of elementary schools.
Each year, three of the nine School Board members come up for reappointment. Board members receive an annual $4,500 stipend.
Virginia is the only state without elected school boards.
Seltz, who lives in the 400 block of Hanson Lane, has a graduate degree in education from Harvard, was an editor for publications dealing with special education law and policy, and is a specialist in early adolescent development. Seltz, 45, a two-time chairman, said she will not seek a third term at that post.
Lange, 42, of the 1200 block of Kingston Avenue, is a lawyer with a District firm.
Greene, 47, lives in the 800 block of Franklin Street and is director of an Alexandria funeral home.
The seven challengers are:
Mahla M. Dreiband, 36, of the 2700 block of Park Center Drive. The computer analyst for the Department of Justice has worked as a substitute teacher in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County.
Edward S.J. Fader, 42, of the 4500 block of North Jordan Court, was a member of the Alexandria Development Corp. and president of the Patrick Henry Elementary School PTA. He is president of the Fader Financial Group in Alexandria.
Patricia-Ann M. Hennig, 44, is an office manager at the National Mental Health Association in Alexandria, was PTA president of Francis C. Hammond Junior High, and has spent seven years on the school system's Special Education Advisory Committee. Hennig lives in the 5700 block of Exeter Court.
Beth S. Offenbacker, 24, of the 3500 block of Gunston Road, works in the public information office of Potomac Electric Power Co.
Richard E. Patrick, 33, is a cable television specialist who has served as the chairman of the Education Committee of the Alexandria branch of the NAACP and as a member of the advisory board of the Charles Houston Community Center. Patrick lives in the 5300 block of Holmes Run Parkway.
Cheryl M. Sewell, 41, lives in the 200 block of East Oak Street and has been a real estate agent and a PTA president in Fairfax schools.
John M. Travis, 63, was an administrator in Fairfax schools for several years, including a stint as associate principal of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. A resident of the 100 block of Adams Avenue, Travis also spent five years on the city's Economic Opportunities Commission.