Editor: Your endorsement of James Vell Rives IV for Arlington School Board failed to mention several key points.

Of the two School Board candidates, Bethany Sutton has significantly more experience in education than Rives. For over a decade, Sutton has dedicated her free time to serving students. She’s been an active PTA member and officer at a Title I school and currently chairs the APS Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning after several years in other council roles.

Sutton hasn’t just shown up for her own kids, either. Since March 2020, she has spent countless hours serving as the coordinator for the Randolph Elementary School food pantry, making sure some of Arlington’s poorest families have food to eat. Sutton has long been a voice for equity and making sure all students in Arlington are achieving the same educational outcomes.

As we face the aftermath of a global pandemic together, Sutton is laser-focused on addressing long-standing achievement gaps and mental-health needs that preceded the pandemic.

What is more, Sutton differentiates herself from Rives in how she fights for all students. While Rives dances around taking a position on Gov. Youngkin’s model policies attacking trans students, Sutton has repeatedly and clearly voiced her opposition to Youngkin’s bullying of these children.

Sutton’s years of active community engagement and leadership are grounded in a long-standing commitment to listening and learning. She has spent 25 years working in higher education and leadership development. Her perspective on how large universities work as systems to serve significant numbers of students will be an asset on the School Board.

Sutton brings the experience, perspective and values we need on the School Board, and I look forward to voting for her on Nov. 8.

Thomas Jensen, Arlington

[https://sungazette.news provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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