William S. 'Bill' Barker

Age: 53

Residence: Arlington Ridge.

Education: BA, liberal arts, American School of Jerusalem; MA, liberal studies, Excelsior College; senior executive fellow, J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; completed two years of graduate work in history at State University of New York at Buffalo, plus study at Manhattan School of Music, City College of New York and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Occupation: Managing director, Apollonia Business Solutions LLC.

Elected offices/civic activities: Member, Arlington Chapter NAACP; member, Arlington Committee of 100; member, Arlington Civic Federation Schools Committee; member, National Trust for Historic Preservation; member, Wakefield Parent Teacher Association; former assistant administrator, Erie County Medical Center; retired official, Department of the Navy and Library of Congress; past president, Graham Road Elementary School Parent Teacher Association; past member, Key Elementary, Washington-Lee and Gunston Middle School PTAs.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"With the financial resources that are the envy of others -- over $16,000 per student -- we can do much better. We need to improve basic skills, such as reading and math in middle schools where one-third of the students read below grade level and receive inadequate math instruction; ensure that all our schools meet state and federal standards and accreditation this year; expand successful programs like Arlington Traditional School and Wakefield's AP program; finally reach our minority achievement goals; see a higher representation of minority students in advanced programs; and challenge students through partnerships with local colleges and universities."

Why should voters elect you?

"I am the only candidate for this open seat with a proven governmental track record in achieving higher standards and keeping contract costs within budget."

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Cecelia M. Espenoza

Age: 47

Residence: Douglas Park.

Education: BA, political science, University of Utah; JD, University of Utah; Kennedy School of Government Executive Program, Harvard University.

Occupation: Senior associate general counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice.

Elected offices/civic activities: Past president, Claremont Immersion School PTA; past vice president, Abingdon Elementary PTA; fellow, Leadership Arlington; commissioner, Virginia Latino Advisory Commission; steering committee and committee member, Arlington Public Schools Strategic Plan; delegate, County Council of PTAs; member, South Arlington planning and boundary committee; coordinator, Spanish Immersion Parent Network; fellow, National Hispana Leadership Institute.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"As a former prosecutor, I am concerned about the presence of gangs in our region. We must address the problem of youth gangs by providing education, intervention and enrichment alternatives. As a former educator, I am concerned about the adverse consequences of high-stakes testing on the educational process. We must support high-level goals for education and not be satisfied with low expectations. As a Latina, I am concerned about ensuring that the diversity of our community is represented. We must model a commitment to include different perspectives."

Why should voters elect you?

"I would provide balance to the board through geographic diversity, a fresh Latino perspective and a commitment to nonpartisanship."

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Edward J. Fendley

Age: 40

Residence: Bluemont.

Education: BS, statistics, University of Illinois; BA, political science, University of Illinois; graduate studies in urban and environmental planning, University of Virginia, Northern Virginia Center; graduate studies, public administration, Virginia Tech, Northern Virginia Center; French, Indonesian, and Spanish language studies, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State.

Occupation: Foreign affairs consultant, Bureau of Resource Management, U.S. Department of State; former foreign service officer.

Elected offices/civic activities: Past president, Drew Model Elementary School Association; past president, Bluemont Civic Association; member, Superintendent's Accountability and Evaluation Committee; delegate, Arlington County Civic Federation; member, Washington-Lee High School PTA, past representative to the school board advisory council on instruction; member, Swanson Middle School PTA; past chairman, Transportation Safety Committee; member, Arlington Citizens for the Arts; member, NAACP; past chair, Arlington Transportation Commission.

What do you think is the most urgent problem facing your jurisdiction?

"Arlington is a wonderful community with great schools. Our biggest challenge is keeping Arlington family-friendly and diverse, despite rising housing costs. My four children attend Arlington public schools. As a School Board member, I will work to make our schools even better and improve their connection to our community. I will: lead new efforts to expand foreign language opportunities so every student can become fluent in a second language; give Arlington residents more services for their tax dollars by increasing community use of school and recreation facilities; and make it safer for children to walk or bike to school."

Why should voters elect you?

"I am a leader who listens and who believes every child can succeed. I have earned endorsements from the Arlington teachers and the Arlington Democrats."

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