Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Scope on Saundra Davis’ Run for Fairfax County’s School Board: ‘I’m Running for the Children’

Alina Wang
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights, politics, tech, and society.
Published: September 11, 2023
Davis' campaign, rooted in the principles of "Trust, Transparency, and Together," mirrors not only her ethos, but the core values she hopes the Fairfax County school system will uphold under her leadership. (Image: via Davis for Education)

FAIRFAX, Virginia — Home to a diverse tapestry of cultures, families in Virginia are united by a shared aspiration: Ensuring the best possible education for their children. Among those leading the charge for excellence in the state’s public schools is Saundra Davis — a dedicated mother of three, advocate, and seasoned professional — now aspiring to serve on the Fairfax County At-Large School Board.

Her campaign, rooted in the principles of “Trust, Transparency, and Together,” mirrors not only her ethos, but the core values she hopes the school system will uphold under her nonpartisan leadership.

“A lot of people run for the school board as a political stepping stone to higher office,” Davis told Vision Times in an exclusive interview. “But the only reason I’m running is for the children.”

From military roots to educational advocacy

Davis’s journey to the school board is one of resilience, adaptability, and dedication. Hailing from a military family, Davis is no stranger to frequent moves and relocations. With each move and new school, she had to learn to adapt, fit in, and keep up academically. These experiences equipped Davis with an intimate understanding of the challenges that many children face. It is this background that infuses her campaign with an empathetic and practical approach to education.

“You do not have to be from a particular political party, race, or religion, to be concerned about what’s happening in our schools,” said Davis, as she explained why she decided to run in the first place.

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“I decided to run when I started watching school board meetings during the COVID-19 [pandemic] shutdown,” said Davis, adding, “We were looking for a return-to-school plan, but what we saw is that they weren’t working on a return-to-school plan, they were working on other things.”

Davis’ journey took her to Colorado State University, where she pursued an undergraduate degree in Psychology. From there, Davis expanded her horizons at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, acquiring two master’s degrees in Healthcare Administration and Gerontology.

Her last professional role as the director of a secure memory care unit in a nursing home was instrumental in sharpening her advocacy skills. This position, which involved overseeing and ensuring the wellbeing of a vulnerable elderly population, required a unique skill set of compassion, patience, and managerial expertise. It is these very same qualities that Davis seeks to bring to the Fairfax County school board. 

Trust, Transparency, Together

Davis’s campaign revolves around the triad of “Trust, Transparency, and Together.” Each word carries a profound meaning:

  • Trust: As the mother of three children who have been beneficiaries of the Fairfax County education system, Davis understands the implicit trust parents place in the system. “[My military family] decided to stay in the area after retirement for the schools,” said Davis. She emphasizes the importance of fortifying this trust by ensuring that every child has access to equitable and quality education.
  • Transparency: Davis values the need for clear communication and open channels between the school board, parents, teachers, and students. By fostering a culture of transparency, the board can proactively address concerns, adapt to changing circumstances, and remain accountable to the community it serves.
  • Together: Davis’s military background is a testament to the strength of unity. The mantra of “together” underscores the importance of collective efforts in enhancing our education system. It also speaks to the collaboration between parents, teachers, administrators, and students to ensure a future where every child is given the proper tools and support to thrive. 

A call to action

Davis’s decision to settle in Fairfax County post-retirement was spurred by the educational opportunities the region promised. Like many parents, she believes in the prospect of a bright future for all the children that reside in the area. However, when she saw that these promises needed reinforcement, she chose to act and work hand-in-hand with the school board to ensure Fairfax County remains a beacon of educational excellence. 

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“I have visited every corner of Fairfax County to meet with diverse community members and listen to their concerns about the state of our public schools,” said Davis in a press release. “Everywhere I go, I hear from parents, grandparents, teachers, and everyday taxpayers who express exasperation, frustration, and disappointment at the decline in academic outcomes.”

“All 12 of the current school board members and the superintendent are from the same political party, and I think they can use some diversity of thought at the school board,” she added.  

In Davis, Fairfax County has a candidate who has dedicated her life to serving the vulnerable. Davis is prepared to ask the tough questions, all the while navigating the challenges of modern education with heart, commitment, and dedication.

Virginia’s general and special elections are slated for Nov. 7, 2023. Early voting starts Sept. 22. For more information, visit Davis’ official campaign site here.