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Eleven District Residents Have Qualified to Run for Seats on McLean Community Center’s Governing Board
Three Adult, Two Teen Positions Available

McLean Community Center (MCC) has certified 11 Dranesville Small District 1A residents, five adults and six teens, to run for seats on the McLean Community Center Governing Board. The board sets policy and provides general oversight for all facilities and programs of the Center, including the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Teen Center. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

Residents of Dranesville Small District 1A are eligible to vote during the election.  Voting for Governing Board members will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the McLean Day 2019 festival at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Rd. Residents also may vote by absentee ballot from Monday, March 18, through Wednesday, May 15.

Three adult positions and two youth positions are open this year. The adult candidates who receive the three-highest vote counts will serve three-year (3) terms. Youth candidates, one from the McLean High School boundary area and one from the Langley High School boundary area, will serve one-year (1) terms. Youth candidates do not have to attend these schools to serve on the board.

Adult Candidates' Personal Statements

 Maria Foderaro Guertin cropped web
Maria Foderaro-Guertin

I’m excited to be a candidate for the board of the McLean Community Center. MCC is a great location where our schools and the public library could connect with our youth in finding their technical and artistic passions.  I would like to create more opportunities for vibrant participation of all ages to “hang out” and socialize at our newly renovated and wonderful community center.

I am a teacher with 20 years of experience at the middle and high school level. I earned a Master of Arts degrees in both Italian Language and Literature from Middlebury College and International Relations (African Studies & International Development) from American University. I also have had leadership roles in the private sector including nonprofits and NGOs with experience in balancing budgets and solving logistical challenges.

My parents exemplified hard work and volunteerism coming over as immigrants and becoming involved in neighborhood, church and school activities. From that inspiration, I have been committed to serving my communities. My involvement as an elected officer in both high school and college in Colorado began a lifetime of service. I relocated to Washington, D.C. and served as president of the board of my condominium association, as president of a cultural organization and as an election official in my neighborhood. 

My husband and I moved to McLean, 15 years ago and have been busy raising our twins. In addition to the volunteer opportunities that arise as a mom to active children at Chesterbrook Elementary School, I became involved with Africa Outreach Ministry. The ministry was a part of St. Charles Church (Arlington), which was committed to serving the needs of children on the continent of Africa. Currently, I am a block captain in the Chesterbrook Woods Citizen Association and chair of the Multi-Cultural Committee where I teach. With your vote, I will continue to work with the board and expand offerings for our energetic and diverse community. You can reach me at: mariaformccboard@gmail.com.

Suzanne Le Menestrel web
Suzanne Le Menestrel

I am a developmental psychologist, a mom of two, a Gold Award Girl Scout, and an eight-year resident of McLean. I am honored to be running for the Governing Board. A lifelong theatre fan, I avidly support the Alden Theatre and the McLean Community Center (MCC’s) many arts programs. I am deeply committed to serving my community and the Washington, D.C. region. I volunteer for the McLean High School marching band and the PTSA; I am on the board of directors for the Prince George’s Child Resource Center; volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and currently mentor teen Girl Scouts working on their Gold Awards and share my expertise in child and youth development programs, policies and research with national advisory groups for the National 4-H Council and the American Camp Association. I am also a member of the McLean Citizens Association.

As a member of the Governing Board, I will contribute my professional expertise in child and adolescent development, research, and programs. I have spent my entire professional career focused on child, youth and family issues for nonprofits and the federal government. I am a published author, speaker and facilitator, and guide many of the nation’s highly respected scientists and policy experts in consensus-building processes to provide authoritative advice to study sponsors. I am experienced in developing and monitoring budgets, fundraising and spearhead extensive communications and dissemination activities for consensus study reports on topics such as bullying prevention and reducing child poverty.  

In my free time, I enjoy local theatre, trying new recipes from around the world, reading, traveling and hanging out with my family. I earned a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University and a nonprofit management executive certificate from Georgetown University.

McLean is a thriving and diverse community and the MCC is truly a treasured gem. I am committed to ensuring that the MCC serves all residents and provides an inclusive, welcoming environment for families. I am excited to serve as an MCC Governing Board member and support the MCC staff and our community. Thank you for your vote!
You can reach me at:  suzanne4mclean@gmail.com.

 Sun Park web
Sun Park

I am running to amplify the voices of young professionals. Having grown up in McLean and been on the board in the past, I understand both our community and this Center’s purpose. I want to shape the strategic direction of the MCC to reflect the changes in McLean. My priorities are to increase programming targeted at the growing young professional demographic, encourage more diverse cultural events sponsored by the Center and ensure that the funds allocated to the Center maximize the benefit of all. I’m committed to fostering a strong community and am excited for this opportunity to give back. You can reach me at: sunpark94@gmail.com.
 Carla Post web
Carla Post

Our family moved to McLean in 2008 and immediately felt welcomed by the wonderful community. Throughout the years, we have benefited from so many MCC programs that I want to give back by joining the board. As a Director of Conference Services, I have 25 years’ experience planning and directing events, managing technology and budgets and leading teams supporting conference and facilities spaces. I’m also the Sustainability Project Manager for a major corporation and hope to work with MCC staff to promote sustainable practices and incorporate environmental education into the curriculum. Thank you for this opportunity to serve our community. You can reach me at: carla4community@gmail.com.
 Barbara Protacio web
Barbara Protacio
As a teacher, mother and veteran, my life has been defined by service—service to family, country and community. Now, I want to serve you. Having lived across the U.S. and in six countries I have seen how America’s wealth of opportunities can start at strong community centers like MCC. Community centers unite us and open the world to us.

I served my country as a Naval Officer for 30 years. During that career, I served my family by raising two children, and I served my city as a PTA President, coach, tutor and college admissions interviewer. I have devoted my life to serving my community. Once my children were off to college, I served others by becoming a teacher, passing along my education in the sciences and liberal arts. I want to ensure future generations have the same opportunities as I did.

On the McLean Community Center board, I’ll bring this same sense of service. A vibrant and welcoming community center is vital to building a connected and continuously learning community. It should reflect the multigenerational and multicultural diversity of the whole McLean area. In addition to supporting the kind of daytime classes my family enjoyed when our children were young, I’d like to explore increasing offerings in the evenings for young through senior professionals who cannot attend midday classes. Another priority I have for the MCC, is incorporating service components into the programming so that participants can share their skills or creations with those in need. I’ll advocate for affordable, enriching experiences that help us grow, and celebrate the talents each of us contributes to our community.

On your behalf, I will promote equitable programs and activities that foster a McLean community for ALL. I’m looking forward to hearing from you as I begin my campaign. I want to know what you would like from the McLean Community Center. Together we can see the dream become a reality. On May 18, I hope I can count on your vote.

I am excited to continue serving my community in McLean. Please reach out to me at electBarb@gmail.com or visit my website, https://voteforbarb.wordpress.com.
Youth Candidates'
Personal Statements

Langley High School boundary area
 Alize Ashraf Langley web
Alize Ashraf

I moved to McLean four years ago in eighth grade. Since then, McLean has had so much to offer me, from recreational soccer to Dranesville district meetings at MCC. Along the way, I’ve made some great friends at Langley High School and have become a part of the community through the school orchestra, Saxon Stage, clubs and honor societies. I’ve learned to handle responsibility and manage my time by helping Abrar Omeish with her 2019 school board campaign. I’m excited about getting more youth involved with the MCC. McLean has given me so much and I want to give back. You can reach me at: alize.ashraf@gmail.com.
 Anna Krause Steinrauf Langley web
Anna Krause-Steinrauf

I have loved growing up in McLean. I am a Junior at Langley High School and value being a part of my school’s and McLean’s community. As a kid, I was greatly influenced by programs at the McLean Community Center such as summer camps, dance and cooking lessons and art classes. I learned valuable skills and met new friends.

Langley High School has given me many opportunities to grow and find my passions. Langley Cross Country, Science Olympiad and Service Learning Club have been a big part of my high school experience, teaching me the importance of working hard and being enthusiastic about the community at Langley. I learned how important contributing to our community is and serving others around me by being a member of my local church’s youth mission team to Washington, D.C., where we helped clean a school and serve meals to the homeless during the summer.

I will reach out to the youth community for more ideas of relevant programs. In addition, one idea that I would like to advocate for is intergenerational programs to bring people together since many do not have extended family in the area.

I am very excited to have this opportunity to serve the McLean community by being a member of the McLean Community Center Governing Board. You can reach me at: annakrause222@gmail.com.

 Megan Markwart cropped web
Megan Markwart
A lifelong McLean resident and Junior at Langley, I’ve attended MCC programs since I was born; tagging along with my siblings to Music Together class. Redeemer Lutheran and my family taught me the importance of giving back and sports taught me the value of teamwork. Having played field hockey, soccer and track at Langley, elected Class of 2020 SGA representative annually and serving on the MCC Board this past year has prepared me to actively participate on next year’s Board. I support programming of interest to young adults such as the MCC-Alden-TEDxTysons event. Thank you for your vote.  You can reach me at:  ltmarkwart@gmail.com.
Youth Candidates'
Personal Statements

McLean High School boundary area
 Sabrina Benmira cropped web
Sabrina Benmira
McLean has been my home for as long as I can remember. I am committed to this community and the people that live here. My international background has allowed me to appreciate the diversity of McLean and connect with my peers.  At McLean High School, I have fallen in love with field hockey and devoted my time to raising money for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. If elected as a board member, I will provide crucial insight into the lives of the youth and strive to make changes that are in the best interest of everyone. You can reach me at: sabrinake703@gmail.com.
 Xavier Jimenez McLean web
Xavier Jimenez
Hi! I’m Xavier, a Junior from McLean. I’m running for the Board because I care about my town and the people in it. It’s my belief that making life more enjoyable, for even one person, makes the community stronger as a whole. When I was younger, I used to volunteer to usher the plays put on at the Alden Theatre. I’ve volunteered for the State Senate race in Virginia’s 35th district and interned on a local Fairfax election for Chairman of the Board. Due to my passion for the wellbeing of citizens, I believe I’d make a great Board member. You can reach me at: Xavierjimenez523@gmail.com.
 Lindsea Strelser cropped web
Lindsea Strelser
My name is Lindsea Strelser and I’m a junior at McLean High School. I’m the right fit for our MCC Governing Board because I will always keep the interest of McLean’s residents in mind when making decisions regarding what programs are available for you! As an ambassador for the Fairfax Office for Women, I have hands-on experience with planning fun, rewarding events and getting the most out of a budget! As a teenager myself, I’m invested in making the MCC as exciting and welcoming to the youth as possible.  Please vote for me as your new Youth Governing Board member! You can reach me at: lcstrelser@gmail.com.

Write-in Candidates are allowed. Write-in candidates must receive at least 10 votes from 10 residents of the Center’s tax district in order to have their votes counted. For youth write-in candidates, the 10 votes must come from teens who live within the same high school boundary area as the candidate.

Absentee ballots are available. A resident may request an absentee ballot package by phone (703-744-9348, TTY: 711) or email (elections@mcleancenter.org), or may pick one up at MCC, 1234 Ingleside Ave., or The Old Firehouse Center, 1440 Chain Bridge Rd. Completed absentee voting affidavits and ballots must be received at one of the two sites by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15.

For more information, call the Center at 703-744-9348, TTY: 711, or email: elections@mcleancenter.org.

Return to the 2019 Candidates page