‘That is Loudoun’s Story:’ Randall Delivers Annual State of the County

Loudoun County Chair Phyllis J. Randall delivered a defiant and triumphant portrayal of Loudoun County at her seventh annual State of the County address Wednesday, May 25.

“Over the past year, there have been quite a few people, for quite a few reasons, who have felt the need to highlight what they think they know about Loudoun. While I would like to assume all those people had the best of intentions, it’s likely some may have had other, less commendable motives for making Loudoun the center point of their attention,” Randall said.

Loudoun County’s schools, elected officials and election officers have been the target of national conservative attacks for the past two years. Candidates and political groups have sought to fundraise, remove Democrats and elect Republican candidates capitalizing on a sexual assault scandal in the schools and arguing against antiracist curriculum, while the Office of Election’s work to outsource handling absentee ballots to an out-of-town contractor has been answered with suspicions from the county Republican party about election integrity.

But Randall highlighted Loudoun’s successes, including in schools, in business, and in education. As she has done in years past, she highlighted individuals emblematic or key to those successes, such as Department of Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer, Reston Limousine President Kristina Bouweiri, and Sarah Coyle Etro who has led the county staff on affordable housing initiatives.

She also highlighted the difficult job done by teachers.

“Across the nation the past two years have been extraordinarily difficult for educators in our public and private school systems. If like me, you’ve spent any time in our classrooms, you’ll understand how challenging it is to be a teacher,” she said. “Our educators are asked to be psychologists, nurses, counselors, coaches, mentors and, for some students, the only adult to nurture the potential of that young person. If you take the time to talk to teachers, you’ll realize not only do they extend themselves emotionally—all too often, they literally spend their own funds to outfit their classrooms.”

She highlighted the work of the nonprofit Loudoun Education Foundation, and introduced Executive Director Danielle Nadler and Director of Development Kari Murphy.

And she pointed to the success in Loudoun’s public schools, which are consistently ranked among the top schools in the state and nation, with standardized testing scores and on-time graduation rates well ahead of other school systems.

Randall also pointed to Loudouners’ efforts to welcome Afghan evacuees, support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic, and even support other communities.

“Others may believe they know who we are, but they don’t understand. The greatness of Loudoun resides in the goodness of our people, and our people are the only true authors of Loudoun’s story,” Randall said. “For the past two years, we have been tested by fire, but we have emerged stronger, more resilient, and more committed than ever to Loudoun’s future, a bright future full of hope, vitality, and equal opportunity for every Loudoun resident. That is Loudoun’s story.”

Read the full text of Randall’s State of the County address here.

Editor’s note: Loudoun Education Foundation Executive Director Danielle Nadler is a former managing editor of Loudoun Now.

11 thoughts on “‘That is Loudoun’s Story:’ Randall Delivers Annual State of the County

  • 2022-05-26 at 2:47 pm

    Where are the Route 15 north of Leesburg improvements? Where is the list of BOS priorities other than taking credit for what other groups do (like teachers)?

  • 2022-05-26 at 3:36 pm

    What a great defender Loudoun has in Chair Randall. The county is very lucky to have this gracious lady at the helm. Sometimes I feel depressed about the polarizing figure that holds executive power in Richmond. But then I think of Chair Randall & all the good she does for Loudouners. She’s truly a force of nature. Long Live Loudoun Blue!

    • 2022-05-28 at 6:54 pm

      Like every typical Democrat you keep lowering the bar for success… because if you don’t, a Democrat could never achieve it. Ms. Randall has been anything but a “great defender.” The only thing she has been great at is championing the losing policies of the leftists.

  • 2022-05-26 at 4:35 pm

    School enrollment is down and so are test scores and yet everything is fine according to Phyllis Randall, clearly she is disconnected from the citizens of Loudoun County.

  • 2022-05-26 at 5:51 pm

    A legend, in her own mind. She’s in danger of breaking an arm, patting herself on the back. Meh.

  • 2022-05-26 at 9:57 pm

    Schools are broken, taxes are going up despite an influx of outside government funds, and she is trying to destroy a successful Sheriff to gain more personal power. Yeah, great job – NOT!

  • 2022-05-27 at 5:57 am

    Phyllis Randall is good at one thing. Saying what she wants in public and doing the opposite in private when she thinks cameras are off.

  • 2022-05-27 at 8:31 am

    This propaganda is completely divorced from reality.

    1. The school system is an absolute disaster. Based on the irrational paranoia of teachers, LCPS banned students from in-person instruction for most of the 2020-2021 year. A Harvard study noted that schools which implemented in-person or hybrid instruction quickly avoided the MONTHS of learning loss suffered by districts like LCPS who kept students at home for most of the year. What is LCPS’ solution for this? Why, they are cutting the instructional year from 180 days to 170 days to placate overpaid, irrational, lazy teachers!! How disgraceful. The BOS, including Randall, happily funded LCPS without any reduction for the shortened school year or any resistance whatsoever.

    2. “Leaders” of LCPS covered up a rape in a high school (“no assaults” in bathrooms despite just that happening a week earlier in May 2021). Then, AFTER that meeting, they placed the student in another high school with no monitoring whatsoever!!! Even if they are given latitude for keeping the accused in school, how incompetent must one be to not monitor a sexual predator to protect other potential victims? And we saw the result.

    3. Apologists for LCPS would claim the rapist described above is an isolated incident in LCPS. Yet we have heard student-led advocates blowing the whistle on LCPS’ horrific Title IX non-compliance for years. At SB meetings, girls describe being harassed or assaulted in LCPS and administrators effectively ignoring them. And this doesn’t even include the sexual assault of a 13-year-old minority student by an LCPS teacher where the victim was suspended by LCPS for speaking out. LCPS is rotten to its core.

    4. And then we get to LCPS performance. Test scores have been falling for years. In tests that compare LCPS to similarly affluent districts (not districts with 80% poverty like Randall likes to highlight), LCPS scored at the very bottom. Not at the top. Not in the middle. At the very bottom. How anyone could claim that is a successful school district is mind-blowing. LCPS has turned into a political indoctrination apparatus instead of a institution for teaching reading, writing, math and science.

    5. Randall sits on the BOS. They have inherited the greatest windfall probably in the history of US counties as $100Ms of new revenue is added to the tax base every year from data centers. Was that money returned to the taxpayers? No. Randall and the tax-and-spend BOS like Matt Letourneau spent every last penny!!! They showered it on government workers with 6-10% annual pay raises despite the average private sector worker receiving 2-3%. They hide money in the budget to spend on end-of-year goodies. That’s taxpayer money, not Randall and Letourneau’s slush fund to reward political allies.

    In large part because of the disastrous example set by Loudoun’s progressive elected leaders, the blue state of Virginia elected an all Republican slate of officers in 2021. The notion that anyone would point to Loudoun as being successfully led is preposterous.

    • 2022-05-27 at 3:30 pm

      While I agree that LCPS is a mess, I do take issue calling the teachers and faculty at these schools as “lazy” or “irrational.” While there are certainly many bad apples in the system, there are many dedicated hard-working teachers and faculty who give it their all. I know, because I am married to one, and hearing the horror stories of what she has to put up with each and every day is startling. And for the record, she hated the remote learning and wanted to be back in the buildings the entire time. If anything all of the blame goes to the superintendent and its administration as well as the LCSB for implementing requirement after requirement that these schools must adhere to all the while with no added resources or help. At the same time this same leadership group continues to lower the standards for our children all in the name of “equity” but in reality because they know they have turned the school system into a mess.

      To me, teachers and staff at the schools are underpaid and overworked. They should most certainly get paid a lot more. Meanwhile they are the ones that are get dumped on by administration/LCSB and parents who have no idea what goes on in these schools each and every day. Should there be evaluation of teachers to weed out the good versus bad? Yes, absolutely. But my guess is that the majority do care but are just demoralized by their own leaders as well as the public. In addition, many of the good ones are leaving public schools or contemplating leaving, which is no good for anyone.

      We need a fresh beginning and that starts with cleaning house of the entire LCSB. Then, the new LCSB should FIRE the superintendent ASAP, roll back many of the initiatives that the old guard created in the name of activism, and give teachers/staff the ability to actually TEACH our children again. It shouldn’t be this hard to expect our children to know how to read, write, do math, and understand basic civics within public schools.

      • 2022-05-27 at 3:35 pm

        I should also add that we need a clean reboot of the Loudoun BOS who only know how to spend our money with little in return except for more housing developments, data centers, traffic, and higher taxes. This once beautiful county is slowly crumbling into the likes of Montgomery and Fairfax counties…now that’s scary!

      • 2022-05-28 at 12:47 pm

        Matthew, I won’t deny there are many effective teachers. But can you point me to any SB meeting in which ANY teacher spoke out against reducing the instructional year from 180 days to 170 days? Just the speech of a single teacher, including your spouse, against reducing the year by 4%?

        Or maybe you could point me to a single speech at the SB meeting (or an email or any other advocacy) by your spouse encouraging objective evaluations including the use of ACTUAL student growth data?

        Or maybe you could point to a single social media comment/post from your spouse back in 2015 when I sued for SGP data and noted that LCPS defrauded the US Dept of Education by taking federal money, claiming they used student growth metrics, and then refusing to even download the data much less use it for evaluations as they certified?

        Until then, the public needs to understand we must IMPOSE rules upon teachers who will be fighting and screaming to avoid facing objective evaluations. Or working a workyear of 80% of other professions (185 days). Those are just facts. I wish teachers would speak out. I wish teachers would put student interests above adult interests. I don’t see it.

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