Stella’s Story

 

A Lifelong Virginian & Daughter of Immigrants

My passion for education and its promise of lifelong opportunity began while I was growing up here in Virginia. I would spend my Saturdays sitting in my mother’s Greek language class at our church. I would promptly go home and conduct my own class with my younger siblings and stuffed animals as students. Growing up as the oldest daughter of Greek immigrants, my parents consistently stressed the importance of a high-quality education. I understood from an early age that a strong education would open up doors and opportunities for me as an adult. As a student whose first language was not English, I had to navigate the world of two cultures and languages, as so many of our neighbors do today.

After high school graduation, I pursued a degree in Government & Politics at George Mason University and completed it within 3 years. During this time, I worked and sought out scholarships to pay for my schooling. These early experiences sparked my passion for fighting for my community, which I have devoted myself to since.

A Teacher and Small Business Owner

I began substitute teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools, here in the Sully District. While substitute teaching, I earned a Masters of Ed. in Multicultural & Multilingual Education and certification as an ESOL teacher. I began teaching full time for FCPS. My husband and I chose Centreville to be our home in 2001 because of its wonderful schools and we are now raising our six incredible children here. Together, we co-founded Skyway Air Taxi, a local air charter company and I currently run the daily customer operations.

A Leader on the School Board and Beyond

While I took a break from the full-time classroom to raise my children and start our family air charter business, I never took a break from helping children and families. I began serving as your Sully District representative on the Fairfax County School Board in 2020, where I have fought for every student and guided our return to in-school learning. Additionally, I led the lawsuit against Glenn Youngkin’s attempt to steal our local control of our schools. Previously, I have served as HOA President, President of several PTAs in the Sully District, taught adult ESOL classes, and worked with underserved youth through Cornerstones. In 2018, I was proud to be one of the parent leader advocates of More Recess for Virginians who successfully lobbied our state legislators to change the law that prohibited localities from providing developmentally adequate recess for our children. I have also served as an advisory board member to BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters), President of Rocky Run PTA, VP of Outreach for Fairfax County Council PTA, member of the NAACP Education committee, At-Large appointee to the Fairfax County Schools Student Health Advisory Committee, and Sully District appointee on the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees.