With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, the School Board race in the Dumfries District became more exciting.

Incumbent Joan R. Ferlazzo, 47, a teacher at Manassas Park Middle School, now faces an aggressive write-in campaign by James V. Cech of Montclair, a retired Naval officer who is a systems engineer for a Springfield firm. Cech was a former candidate for the position who said that Ferlazzo has not been responsive to her constituents.

Ferlazzo, who said she refrained from asking for money or active campaigning because she had no opposition, has brought out old signs from her last election to post around the district.

But a relatively late start should have no reflection on how much she wants the job, Ferlazzo said.

"I do want to be elected," she said. "I do think I've done a good job." Ferlazzo joined the board in 1997 in a special election.

Ferlazzo said one of her proudest achievements over her two years as an elected board member was helping to hammer out a compromise with parents who were angry that their children might have to be bused to Osbourn Park to relieve crowding at Hylton. In the end, the children were allowed to attend their neighborhood school.

Ferlazzo said she's also pleased about a School Board rule that put reading specialists in each school. She said she would push for a teacher salary increase in the next budget year to keep pay scales within reach of surrounding jurisdictions.

She said she also was excited about the opening next fall of Forest Park High School. That school will be an information technology "speciality school" for the district.

"It will just be unreal, the technology courses that are offered there," she said.