A parent-activist backed by the Democratic Party was elected overwhelmingly Tuesday to the Arlington County School Board.

Monique O’Grady, a first-time candidate, was elevated to the five-member board after receiving 71 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results from the Virginia Department of Elections. She defeated Mike Webb, who captured 18 percent and Alison Dough, who received 10 percent.

In a phone interview, O’Grady said she hopes the campaign message she sent about strengthening relationships within the community and with the County Board resonated with voters.

“I’m so humbled and honored to have received the support of Arlingtonians,” the 49-year-old said Tuesday night. 

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During her campaign, O’Grady emphasized the importance of diversity and multiculturalism. To that end, O’Grady said she would examine changes to allow students who choose a pre-K program in one community to continue their education in that community, instead of returning to their neighborhood.

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Citing experiences such as helping with strategic planning for the nearly 27,000-student school district, O’Grady said she’s become attuned to the district’s needs. She’s well-equipped, she said, to help the district grapple with a growing student population.

O’Grady made it onto Tuesday’s ballot after defeating incumbent James Lander in a Democratic caucus earlier this year. School Board members in Arlington serve four-year terms.

Drew Gerber contributed reporting.

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