Nineteen candidates are running for seven districts and the chairmanship on the Prince William County Public Schools school board in Virginia on Nov. 7, 2023. The school district, located west of Alexandria, had approximately 90,070 students as of the 2020-21 school year.
Board members are elected to four-year terms. One member—the board’s chairman—is elected at-large. Seven members are elected by district.
The board’s chairman and incumbents in five of the seven districts are running for re-election. Jennifer Wall, the Gainesville district incumbent, is the only candidate running unopposed.
School board races are non-partisan, but candidates typically get the endorsement of one of the two major parties. The current board has a 7-1 Democratic-endorsed majority. Wall—the incumbent in the Gainsville District—is the only board member who was endorsed by the Republican Party in their last election.
This year, the Prince William Democratic Party endorsed a candidate in all seven contested elections—including all five incumbents running in those races. The Democratic-endorsed candidates are: Incumbent Babur Lateef (Chairman), Incumbent Adele Jackson (Brentsville), Incumbent Lisa Zargarpur (Coles), Incumbent Justin Wilk (Potomac), Incumbent Loree Williams (Woodbridge), Tracy LaMar Blake (Neabsco), and Richard Jessie (Occoquan).
The Prince William Republican Party endorsed a candidate in six of the seven contested elections: Carrie Rist (Chairman), Erica Tredinnick (Brentsville), Stephen Spiker (Coles), Ryan Wilson Kirkpatrick (Occoquan), Mario Beckles (Potomac), and Jaylen Custis (Woodbridge). The party did not endorse a candidate in the Neabsco district.
Candidates have emphasized school safety, test scores, instructional topics, and parental engagement as central campaign issues. Another key focus has been teacher compensation. Incumbent board members have highlighted salary increases that occurred during their tenure, while several challengers have said teacher salaries should be more competitive. On Sept. 29, Prince William Times Anya Sczerzenie reported that salary negotiations between the school board and Prince William’s County teachers’ union were “at an impasse in contract negotiations and heading toward mediation.”
The filing deadline for this election was on June 13, 2023.