My wife Sandy and I moved to Fairfax with our then 2-year old son Nick in 1997, shortly after Sandy had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and medically retired from the Army. Sandy earned a BS degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters degree in Education from Boston University, and dual Masters degrees in Nursing and Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas. At the time of her medical retirement, Sandy was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Nurse Corps and last served as the Chief of Patient Education at the Tripler Army Medical Center. In addition to raising Nick, she has authored several articles addressing the care and treatment of patients with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and patients who are paralyzed and dependent on mechanical ventilation. She writes a monthly column for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association’s national patient newsletter and is a regular contributor to the International Ventilator User Support Group. Of particular note was Sandy’s testimony through the National Legislative Commission to Congress establishing the cost-effectiveness and emotional support that could be achieved through home-based care of severely injured veterans.
Nick grew and flourished. He attended Mantua Elementary School, Frost Middle School, Woodson High School and then Fairfax High School for a brief period. He enjoyed school immensely and formed strong bonds with his classmates, teachers, coaches and faculty members. He was active in Fairfax’s Little League as well as rugby, lacrosse, track and football with the Fairfax Police Youth Club and the Braddock Road Youth Club. Nick was a cub scout in Pack 1533 and a boy scout in Troop 1533, both sponsored by the Mantua ES PTA. As a Cub Scout, he was awarded the Arrow of Light. As a Boy Scout, he had achieved the rank of Star Scout. While in high school Nick tried his hand at lacrosse but found he was most passionate about football playing virtually every defensive line position as well as running back. Nick started on Woodson’s freshman and JV teams, and dressed for Varsity games. Nick was a member of the Class of 2013 but died on January 20, 2011, and the circumstances therein led us to seek reforms of FCPS’s disciplinary process.
I received a BS degree in Engineering and a commission as a Second Lieutenant from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. I served over 24 years on active duty as a US Army Corps of Engineers officer. Along the way I completed the Army’s Ranger, Airborne and Air Assault Schools, as well as the Command and General Staff College Officer Course. I have served as an Executive Officer, Aide-de-Camp, Project Engineer, Commander, Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, Program Manager, Division and Office Chief, Strategy Officer, and Deputy Commandant of the Defense Mapping School. Retiring in 2004 as a Lieutenant Colonel, I accepted a position as an acquisition Program Manager within the Department of Defense. In addition to a BS degree, I have also earned a Masters degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla, and both a Masters degree and a PhD in Systems Engineering from George Washington University. I am a licensed Professional Engineer in the Civil and Environmental Engineering field. I have managed and led programs and organizations whose budgets ranged from millions to billions of dollars. I am a member of the American Legion (Post 177), the Association of the US Army, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association. Our family is a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church congregation. My volunteer work has focused on activities Nick participated in where I in turn served as an adult leader, coach, assistant or team volunteer. Lastly, we have been attendees and supporters of the ALSA annual Walk on the National Mall since our arrival to this area.
My years of service have allowed me to hone my analytical and reasoning skills. The tragedy my family endured with Nick’s passing has heightened my degree of empathy for others, so that I am that much more focused on listening to (and acting upon) the messages conveyed by our community's many voices. In summary, my background has equipped me well to be the personal representative of every citizen of Fairfax County, so that I can empirically and, also, holistically, address all issues -- whether they be over curriculum, instruction, testing, scholarships, the achievement gap, special needs, school construction, redistricting, compensation, budgets, discipline, sports, other extracurricular activities or the like.
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