Board Names Members to Discipline Committee

Forty-person group charged with reviewing FCPS discipline policies will meet Oct. 24.

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously appointed 40 members Thursday to a newly-created committee tasked with reviewing the system's student rights and responsibilities handbook, putting the body in place to begin its work by the end of October.

The Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R), created by the board Sept. 20, includes representatives appointed by the county's three major teachers unions, high school and middle school principal associations, as well as the county's associations for school social workers and psychologists. 

It also includes Bob Bermingham, Director of the county's Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court, Hearings Officer JD Anderson, and two students.

Among the committee's 24 residents: Sheree-Brown Kaplan, a member of Coalition of the Silence (COTS) and a former school board candidate; Caroline Hemenway, whose advocacy group Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform formed around changing the system's discipline policies; and Steve Stuban, whose son's suicide became a lightning rod for the first round of disciplinary reforms last year.

Deputy Superintendent Rich Moniuszko and Assistant Superintendent for Special Services Kim Dockery will serve as advisors and facilitators for the group.

Full membership is listed at the bottom of this article.

 The committee's first meeting is at 5 p.m. Oct. 24, school board chair Ilryong Moon (At-large) said. A location has not yet been determined.

School board members Ted Velkoff (At-large) and Janie Strauss (Dranesville) said they appreciated how the board came together to pick a diverse pool of representatives after board members spent several meetings falling on opposite sides of debates on how many community members should be appointed, who should lead the committee and what kind of message its membership would send to the greater Fairfax County community about both the board and the issue, which has polarized residents in the past few years.

Each board member selected two representatives from their district, while at-large members were free to select two residents from any area of the county.

Board member Sandy Evans (Mason) said she looked forward to group's findings, particularly on parental notification, a sticking point for the board and community through several other rounds of system changes, and support for students who have been suspended.

Megan McLaughlin (Braddock) said she hoped the committee will make a real effort to look toward surrounding jurisdictions — specifically, Arlington and Montgomery Counties and the Maryland Board of Education — "that have made tremendous strides in looking at discipline reform."

"I think they have a lot to share," she said, noting those groups would help raise the level of understanding about national juvenile justice reform.

McLaughlin said she was disappointed FZTR member Michele Menapace would not sit on the committee, calling her "one of the most knowledgeable in this county on our discipline reform efforts."

Evans said the appointment of members was not the "end of this group" — the committee is also tasked with reaching out to others in the community to make sure "people that have something to contribute will have an opportunity to contribute their expertise as well," she said.

Full membership:

(Source: FCPS)

School Board Members

Name of nominees

Name of nominees

Tammy Derenak Kaufax

Craig Mehall

Liz Dunn

Sandy Evans

Renee Lucero

Dr. Rita Giles

Pat Hynes

Bettina Lawton

Fabiana Ciammaichella

Ryan McElveen

Ralph Cooper

Matt Bell

Megan McLaughlin

Robert Kane

Karen Cogan

Ilryong Moon

Steve Lee

Quy Vo

Patty Reed

Steve Stuban

Sheree Brown Kaplan

Elizabeth Schultz

Dr. Margaret Fisher

Sydney Sawyer

Kathy Smith

Tina Wallace

Debbie Kilpatrick

Dan Storck

Kristina Wilkerson

Avis Catchings

Janie Strauss

Judy Howard

David Edelman

Ted Velkoff

Jill Beres

Caroline Hemenway





Name of nominees

School/work location

Fairfax Association of Elementary School Principals

Mark Bibbee

Cherry Run ES

Middle School Principals Association

Terrence Yarborough

Sandburg MS

Fairfax County High School Principals Association

Abe Jeffers

Lee HS

Fairfax Association of School Psychologists

Cynthia Kirschenbaum

Frost MS

Fairfax Association of School Social Workers

Quyen Duong

Robinson SS

Elementary School Counselors

Marlene Guroff

Colvin Run ES

Middle School Directors of Student Services Association

Brooke Samuelson

Irving MS

High School Directors of Student Services Association

Jim Rixse

Marshall HS

Fairfax Education Association

Michael Hairston


Fairfax County Federation of Teachers

Steve Greenburg


Association of Fairfax Professional Educators

Theresa Poquis

Hayfield SS

Hearing Officer

JD Anderson

Hearing Officer

Fairfax City School Board

Penny Rood

Former Fairfax City SB member

Fairfax County Government

Bob Bermingham

Director, Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court

Student Advisory Council (2 students)

Jamie Yeng

Robinson SS


Suraj Telhan

Westfield HS

Advisors and facilitators

Dr. Rich Moniuszko

Dr. Kim Dockery

See also:

  • Board Creates 40-Member Discipline Committee
  • Board Postpones Discipline Committee Creation
  • School Board to Vote on Discipline Committee
  • Discipline Policy Changes Stop Short of Parental Notification
  • Board Revisits Discipline Policy
Michael October 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM
This committee is not paid, so I'm not sure how it's an example of "more money." It would be almost impossible to have a smaller committee on this topic, when so many people have so much to say. A committee of 40 may well turn out to be unworkable - but a smaller committee would have had almost no chance of acceptance by the community. Somebody would have a legitimate claim that their voice 'wasn't heard.'
Robert F. Dorr October 12, 2012 at 08:53 PM
The only thing a 40-person committee can do is rubber-stamp something, which is exactly how the committee was created. No body this large can possibly perform any useful work.
Michele Menapace October 13, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Actually, a large group like this can get a lot done. The numbers allow for shared work loads and subcommittees that will be able to really research issues of concern. This structure worked very well for the Transportation Task Force. Given the group's size, I anticipate it will be able to address many topics that will produce a quality outcome: issues related to students with disabilities; student rights; prevention, intervention, restoration & rehabilitation (PIRR) options; review of other discipline efforts; to name a few. What will be critical is that the group understand what studies of student discipline & it's impacts tell us works or doesn't work. I hope they also will consider the costs of discipline efforts in both real and societal terms. I urge the group to also recommend ongoing, meaningful review of the SR&R so our community remains knowledgeable of its impacts on students and community as a whole as well as the program's successes and failures. Thank you to these volunteers for stepping up for this very important work. I will be watching with eager anticipation.
VAMOMof2 October 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM
With all the issues that need to be addressed, you need a large group to divide up the work and develop subcommittees. I'm looking forward to this group doing the heavy lifting that the school board has been unwilling to do itself.
Dr. Michael Caloyannides May 14, 2013 at 11:24 PM
The membership of this committee is lopsided in that it has minimal, if any, representation from students' parents. Instead, it is loaded with individuals who are affiliated in one form or another with the teachers and the county. Whoever nominated the members of this committee did a masterful job of stacking the deck against the rights and interests of students and their parents.


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