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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

Dunne Vies For Mount Vernon District School Board Seat

The election action moves to the normal voting locations after early voting was held at the Government Center. There are many signs to encourage voters.

It’s finally Election Day in Virginia, though the sheer amount of political promotional signs on Government Center property have been announcing election day for weeks. All the State Delegate and State Senate seats up for grabs–along with all the School Board seats in Fairfax County. Region 3 will select between 2 candidates from the District and 3 At-Large seats.

Here’s a look at the 1 candidates running for the Mount Vernon District’s School Board Representative, Mateo Dunne, who will represent a total of seventeen elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 3 high schools including West Potomac High School. The representative will contribute school policies and guidelines, alongside other powers like fund allocation.

See the story about his competitor, Stori Zimmerman, Here.

Mateo Dunne, formerly Matthew Dunne, is running to represent the Mount Vernon District as a member of the School Board. Dunne describes himself as an attorney, entrepreneur, PTA dad and a Sunday school teacher according to his website. 

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Being a dad involved in the PTA, Dunne has been advocating for the value of public education since 2015. He was even recognized as the “Mount Vernon District Community Champion.” Dunne has valued education ever since he was a child where his grandmother, mother, sister, sister-in-law and brother-in-law were teachers. 

When his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in his senior year of high school, Dunne used education to help him overcome his father’s death, putting more time into studying and eventually ended up graduating from Emory University and attending law school at Georgetown University.

Dunne has spoken before the School Board, the Board of Supervisors and the Virginia Board of Education on many separate occasions to fight for students, educators and their families. Where he testified against Governor Youngkin’s changes to the History and Social Science Standards of learning, which misrepresented the historical significance of many minorities.

If elected to School Board Dunne will be expected to advocate for the best interest of the community. Dunne will represent a total of 17 schools including most notably West Potomac High School. 

“[To advocate] for students, I will work tirelessly to ensure every student receives a world-class education. I will also work tirelessly to ensure that FCPS provides a safe, inclusive, respectful and welcoming learning environment for all students.” 

To support and advocate for high school students Dunne will “Advocate to expand dual enrollment programs, so students can take college courses while in high school. This will help to reduce college costs. I will also advocate for an expansion of experiential learning and workforce development programs, so students who want to enter the workforce can graduate with certifications to enter different professions and trades.”

Dunne believes in the importance of teachers as the backbone of our schools. “I will work tirelessly to increase their [teachers and staff] pay and benefits. I will also advocate to reduce the administrative burdens on teachers, so they have full use of their planning time to prepare their lessons. I will also advocate to expand our recruitment of educators so our teacher workforce reflects the diversity of our community.”

Dunne firmly believes that FCPS is one of the best public school systems in the country. His plans to ensure every kid receives a “world class education” are to “Advocate to benchmark FCPS against the best school systems in the world. That will provide us the context and information we require to strengthen our public schools.” 

Access to education from an early age is believed to be one of the keys to providing a “world class education”  Dunne explained that expanding access to early education “Can help to reduce achievement gaps.”

Dunne’s primary concern for the education received in the community is “[The] focus on preserving the legacy of academic excellence, expanding academic and extracurricular opportunities for all students” 

In a post pandemic world Dunne believes it is important to “address the learning loss from the pandemic.” by “Develop[ing] a comprehensive plan and mobilize[ing] every available resource to address the learning loss from the pandemic”. 

With the rise of Mental Health issues after the Pandemic “Providing necessary resources to address the mental health crisis”  will be one of Dunne’s main goals.

Dunne strongly believes that transparency is one of the keys to improving the education received in the community. Dunne will “meet regularly with students, families, teachers and staff, and community members”.

I will work tirelessly to ensure every student receives a world-class education. I will also work tirelessly to ensure that FCPS provides a safe, inclusive, respectful and welcoming learning environment for all students.

— Mateo Dunne

In response to the increased budget in recent years, Dunne believes “FCPS should focus its resources on its core mission of providing a world-class education for every student.” Dunne will continuously “Evaluate how FCPS is spending taxpayer dollars to ensure a well managed school system and to provide maximum return on investment for taxpayers.”


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