I have been a community advocate for educational equity in Arlington for three years, and I credit Symone Walker with inspiring my path forward. When I first started learning about educational equity, I looked for others in Arlington County who were already doing this important work. Symone was one of the first people I contacted to learn about the history, progress, and barriers facing community advocates in education.
Symone has been invested in educational equity work for many years and has been instrumental in shaping my own activism and perspective. Her experience navigating the complex issues facing Arlington students and families is an asset and I am grateful for her unwavering leadership and advocacy in our community. I endorse Symone Walker joyfully and without reservation for the Arlington School Board.
Symone consistently listens to community concerns and uses her strong voice to speak up for students who are not provided with the same access to opportunities that other students can take for granted. She does not fear discomfort or criticism, choosing to bring her passion and experience to work that is deeply personal. She is passionate about every student in Arlington, working for improved opportunities and outcomes for all students.
The Arlington School Board needs more voices like Symone's to ensure that the culture shift we are currently experiencing can lead to meaningful changes for Arlington's students. We need voices from actively anti-racist community members who are comfortable discussing systemic racism in our education system and who are ready to lead us. Symone Walker is that voice.
Emily Vincent, APS Parent & Founder, Facing Race in Arlington
I need to tell you about my students. I have been a teacher for more than 21 years — the last 11 in Arlington Public Schools, where I teach a pre-kindergarten class. My 4-year-olds arrive to school with so much curiosity and eagerness to learn.
Over the years, I have seen many of my students soar through elementary, middle, high school, and beyond. But I have also seen many falters. And the truth of my observations is this: The students who falter are more likely to look like me. They’re not white.
I love my school, as a past-president of the Arlington Education Association I respect my colleagues, and I believe in the mission of Arlington Public Schools. But that doesn’t mean I don’t see how institutional racism is embedded in the disparate opportunities provided to my students. These disparities affect every member of our community. Whether you’re white, Black, Hispanic or Asian, the health of our community depends on every child receiving equitable opportunities to attain a college education, or career of their choice.
This is why I’m endorsing Symone Walker. She gets it. She looks at my students, and she sees the same thing I do, a roomful of children who naturally love and support each other, and whose lives hold so much promise. She understands the work of teachers and supports us. She understands the work of parents, and supports them, too. But most of all, the understands the potential of every one of my students—and will work to create APS policies and practices that ensure every child has the support they need to flourish.
As a school board member, she will be a voice for ALL of my students.
Jaim Foster, Arlington Teacher & Former President, Arlington Education Association
I am pleased to support Symone Walker for Arlington School Board. She has been a tireless advocate for students in our schools, including for children of color, for children with special needs, and for trans children. She has spoken up and advocated for all these children. She sees students with specific needs and she believes those needs should be met for their benefit and for us all.
I am a parent of an APS elementary school student and have done some advocacy work on behalf of LGBTQ+ students. Symone educated herself about the issues that concerned these students and offered suggestions on how to more effectively advocate for them. She showed that she cares about every child’s equitable access to public education.
I am proud to endorse Symone for Arlington School Board. I believe her legal skills, her commitment to equity and justice, and her compassion are what we need on the board in these complicated times. Please join me in supporting her candidacy.
Elizabeth Fabrizio, APS Parent
Why am I endorsing Symone Walker? Because it’s time for change in Arlington schools. It’s time for an independent voice to challenge and inspire our school board to be better—and bolder—for all children.
It is time for this county to have a school board member who is first and foremost here for our children, and whose paramount interest is ensuring that every student receives the resources they need to succeed and to graduate ready for college or to enter the workforce.
Symone Walker is that person. Over many years of advocating for students in Arlington Public Schools (APS), Symone has learned the good, the bad, and the ugly of APS. She is a staunch advocate for all of our students—from the most vulnerable to the most capable.
This is not the time to elect a school board member who needs to learn on the job. Every day is an opportunity for our children, and far too many already have been wasted. With her experience, Symone will be ready to lead on day one. She’s a proven community advocate and leader, attorney and mom, who will come to this work with a focus on equity and an eye for solutions.
Bottom line, I trust her. Unlike many candidates for public office, she’s unbothered by political ambitions. She’s not running for school board because she wants to see her name in the headlines. She’s running because she wants APS to be a better place for our children—all of them—and so do I.
Adora Williams, APS Parent & Community Activist
Symone Walker is the only School Board candidate who combines deep Arlington roots, active engagement and accomplishment in Arlington Public Schools, and a refreshing willingness to question authority and offer new ideas. Her independence and determination are exactly what our schools and diverse communities need right now!
John Vihstadt, Former County Board Member