The School Board has a familiar face in the chairman’s seat, as it elected new officers during its annual organizational meeting Tuesday.
Jeff Morse (Dulles) will once again chair the board, and Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) will serve as the vice chairman.
Morse was nominated by Tom Marshall (Leesburg), and elected by of vote of 5-0-4. Outgoing Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling), outgoing Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian), Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn) and Serotkin abstained from the vote. Those four had backed Serotkin for the chairman’s post, but his nomination fell short of the five votes required.
Serotkin, who was participating in the meeting by a video link from a Houston, TX, hotel because of a flight cancellation, then was nominated by Andrew Hoyler (Broad Run) for the vice chairman’s seat and elected by a 7-1-1 vote, with Mahedavi abstaining and Denise Corbo (At Large) opposed.
Morse is a fourth-term School Board member, serving his first term in 2011. He served as chairman of the board in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He has lived in South Riding for 25 years.
Morse was praised by some parents during School Board meetings who said he represented a moderate presence on the board during the turbulent past two years. Morse is one of the four School Board members not facing a removal effort led by the Fight For Schools group.
“I want to thank my fellow board members, who expressed support in my election as chair, a position I don’t take lightly,” Morse said after the vote. “And our educators, the staff, the superintendent, our families, and especially my eight fellow colleagues. Finally I want to personally thank Ms. Sheridan and Ms. Reaser, who guided us through the most turbulent times in recent history. Your tireless work over the last year is sincerely appreciated.”
Serotkin is serving in his first term on the School Board, and chairs the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. Serotkin is one of the targets of the removal effort. The petition to remove him has not been filed, but Fight For Schools announced in October that it had enough signatures to satisfy the filing requirement.
Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior issued a statement supporting Morse’s election.
“While we have not agreed with every vote Mr. Morse has made, he has proven during his tenure on the board to be a reasonable and responsible public servant who listens to his constituents,” Prior stated. “The issues with Loudoun County Public Schools that have been exposed over the past two years will require strong leadership from the chair, and Mr. Morse is to be commended for stepping up to repair the damage that has been done and rebuild trust with the community. We look forward to working with him to make that happen.”
Loudoun County Circuit Court judges were scheduled Wednesday to hear motions in the removal petition efforts against Sheridan and Reaser.