Ernestine C. Heastie*

Age: 55.

Residence: Fairfax.

Education: BA, Howard University; MAT, Trinity College.

Occupation: Retired teacher, D.C. public schools.

Elected offices/civic activities: School Board member; member, Regional Council, Fairfax-Falls Church United Way; former two-term chairman, Fairfax County Child Care Advisory Council; former member, Fairfax County Alliance for Human Services; former member, Fairfax County Superintendent's Community Advisory Council.

Family: Married; two children.

Why should the voters elect you?

"As the Providence District board member, I listened to parents and worked with them to make our schools more inclusive, and I brought challenging innovative programs, such as the International Baccalaureate program and the first Fairfax County school with a year-round school calendar, into our neighborhood schools. I have made learning to read by the age of 8 my highest priority. Schools have new phonics-based reading textbooks, and I have begun implementing all-day kindergarten. I have raised the level of technology at every school, reduced class size and made our schools safer by enforcing zero tolerance for drugs and weapons."

What would you like voters to know about you?

"As the parent of two Fairfax County public school graduates and 27 years as a teacher, I'm committed to providing all children with the finest public education."

E-mail address:

Jamie E. Ruppmann

Age: 52.

Residence: Vienna.

Education: BA, developmental psychology, George Mason University; graduate course work in infant and early childhood special education at George Washington and McGill universities.

Occupation: Co-founder and partner, ASSIST Consulting (advocates for people with disabilities).

Elected offices/civic activities: Former Providence District representative, Fairfax County Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities; former member, Fairfax County Council of PTAs; former member, Advisory Committee for Family Support Services, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board; former president, Virginia chapter, Autism Society of America; former instructor, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University.

Family: Married; two sons.

Why should the voters elect you?

"My 20 years as an advocate for children have spanned the tenure of five superintendents and covered the full range of issues important to our schools. I was a member of the first countywide committee to develop a comprehensive technology plan in the early 1980s, and just last year, I assisted parents and Fairfax County public schools staff to develop a new preschool model. I have real-world experience, knowledge and a demonstrated commitment to Fairfax County public schools. My positive 'voice' will help the School Board overcome partisan politics and develop policies that will ensure quality education for Providence District students in the future."

What would you like voters to know about you?

"Our youngest son has autism. Our family is deeply grateful to our school community for the gifts they gave him. He is a successful adult."

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