Kids need exposure to diverse careers, says school board candidate Jung Byun

By Jung Byun:

Growing up in an inner-city public school district sparked my passion and curiosity for education. I learned that not everyone is guaranteed access to a high-quality education. I was one of the few lucky students who tested out of a high school with a graduation rate of 50% into one with a graduation rate of 99%.

This was only possible with the strong support of my immigrant parents from Korea, who taught me the importance of education, and my teachers, who believed in me. Unfortunately, not all students have this level of support. Whether in New York City or Fairfax County, every student deserves access to the best possible education.

Following my graduation from Carnegie Mellon University, I moved to my new home – Providence District in Fairfax County. Right away, I was eager to serve my new community and became committed to dedicating my time to our schools.

I began serving on the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee and saw the challenges our schools face in meeting the demand in teaching the latest skills while attracting qualified teachers with competitive salaries.

A year later, I was selected for a fellowship to further study education policy with the data and innovation team at the largest, most diverse and complex school district in the country. I brought back with me big ideas to remove barriers to success for our most disadvantaged students.

My top three priorities are as follows:

  1. Increase Teacher Salaries: As a data scientist, I have big plans to dive in to the $3 billion budget to find ways to increase the base salaries of teachers.
  2. Increase Exposure to Diverse Careers: As an employee of one of the largest companies in the area, I’ve met many talented professionals who want to help education, but don’t know how. I have ideas to get more practicing professionals into classrooms.
  3. Increase Mental Health Support: As a millennial who understands the dangers of an increasingly stressful, fast-paced, and technology-driven environment, I will address mental health issues by promoting awareness and student-centered solutions.

Innovating and improving Fairfax County Public Schools will take all of us. Our children deserve the best education, resources, and support that Fairfax County has to offer. With your support, I hope to do just that as a Providence District School Board Member.

Let’s innovate education together!

Jung Byun is a candidate for Fairfax County School Board member from Providence District