Hello from Your New School Board Member!

Greetings Hunter Mill Community!

The 2020 new year has brought big changes to our School Board, and I am deeply proud and humble to be your School Board member! As a parent of elementary school children, a public schools advocate, and an education policy professional, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than serving our Fairfax County schools! Thank you for your support.

View Melanie's introductory video below:

Melanie Meren video

About the School Board's Work

To create optimal learning experiences for students, I believe our School Board must be:

Courageous to seek and produce needed changes 

Resilient to work toward solutions in the most challenging situations 

Efficient with the use of our most precious resources - people, time, and money 

Advocates for our students, families, and community  

Trusted to represent the community

Empathetic by keeping community needs central to our work

Off We Go – Capital Improvement Program and Budget

No time has been wasted in getting to work. The School Board is deep into two of the most critical pieces of annual work:

Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

This document projects a five-year vision for our facilities and school boundaries.

In particular, I’m advocating that construction and renovations be as environmentally-sustainable as possible – like aiming for Net Zero design specifications and expanding student learning opportunities connected with these practices.  Learn more about the CIP here.        

(P.S.  Want to get involved in this work?  I'm seeking an appointee to the Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC).  Apply here!)


Fiscal Year 2021 Budget for School Year 2020--21

Our budget reflects our Fairfax County values for every child's success.

The Superintendent’s proposed budget seeks an increase of $172.2 million, for a total of $3.2 billion to educate approximately 189,000 students and employ 24,000 people in 200 buildings. Of this increase, $31.4 million are required (“fixed”) costs for employee health care, retirement benefits, and workman’s compensation.

I’m pleased to see a focus on raising teacher pay to retain our premier workforce, and investing in special education to ease the overwhelm on educators, students, and families. The Board continues reviewing the proposed budget until our public vote on February 6. Then the budget goes to the County Board of Supervisors, and the process continues through May. Learn more about the Budget here.

My Roles on the Board

  • I’m chairing the Public Engagement committee of the Board, and I’m eager to strengthen two-way communication with the public. Connecting with community members is critical, and I’m excited to foster meaningful engagement across our Board and county.
  • Also, I serve on the Board’s Governance committee, which aims to keep our work transparent, efficient, and timely.
  • Finally, I am the Board Liaison to the Adult & Community Education (ACE) Advisory Committee, and am excited to maximize career-focused learning for students’ personal success in the workforce and life.

See You Soon for Office Hours - Help Me Decide When

Please take this brief survey to help me determine how best to offer "office hours."  Thanks!

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Stay Tuned

Thank you for your interest and patience as the Board transitions its new Members.  I'm eager to respond to your constituent inquiries, set up my social media, and arrange meetings as requested.  This is a very exciting time, and I look forward to serving our community!

All the best,



The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© 2020 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia