FEC Biographies

Faye Wagoner, FEC Chairperson

Affiliated  Organization:

Fairfax Education Association  of Retired Teachers

Her Passion:

Faye believes every child deserves a great teacher and that all teachers deserve the support needed to make them great.

Her Bio:

  • Faye has an MS in Education, with 33 years teaching, 24 of those in Fairfax County Public Schools.
  • Faye was in the first group to be National Board Certified  teacher.  Which led to co-teaching an NBCT preparation course at GMU.
  • Faye served as an NEA Teaching Fellow in 2007 which allowed her  to observe best practices throughout the country.
  •   Faye served on the Board of Directors of Fairfax Education Association
  •  Currently serves as the Providence member on AAPAC.

Louise Epstein, Budget Chair

Affiliated Organization:

??? Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform

Her Passion:


Her Bio:

  • Budget Chair, past president and one of the co-founders of the FEC
  • Chair of the Budget & Taxation Committee for the McLean Citizens Association
  • A board member for the Fairfax County Association for the Gifted
  • A member of “Class Size Counts”

Michele Menapace, Communications Chair

Affiliated Organization: Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform

  • Michele Menapace has been an advocate for children for more than 20 years.
  • Michele was a former president of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs,
  • Michele is currently one of Lee District appointees to the county’s Human Services Council.
  • Michele also serves as chair of the Fairfax County ” Community Action Advisory Board”, which monitors and oversees the administration of federal funding for citizens impacted by poverty in Fairfax County.

Lori Ocho,  FEC Member

Affiliated Organization: “Real Food For Kids”

Lori Ochoa had been a volunteer in Fairfax County Schools for over 19 years.

  • Lori served on executive boards of the PTA, chaired school events and volunteered for numerous school activities.
  • Lori developed an interest in nutrition as a parent and home cook and believes our children’s’ health and well-being is directly tied to the food they eat.
  • Lori became a volunteer with Real Food For Kids as an advocate for the improvement of school food in 2012.

Jody Bennett,  FEC Member

Affiliated Organization:  Fairfax County Coalition of Adovcates for Public Schools

Jody Bennett has a long history of involvement in the field of education. She has a Masters in Nursing Education and a Doctorate in Curriculum Instruction.

Sheree Brown-Kaplan, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization: Fairfax Alliance for Appropriate Public Education (FAAPE)

FEC Email Address:
Sheree Brown-Kaplan is a long-time advocate for children with disabilities and a former At-Large candidate for the Fairfax County School Board.

Walt Carlson, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization: None Currently

His Passion:


His Bio:

Walter Carlson has been an FCPS observer and activist for over 20 years.  He did that by:

  • Attending numerous Fairfax County School Board Regular Meetings, Work Sessions, Committee Meetings, Retreats, and by providing numerous comments and suggestions concerning those meetings to members of the school board for over twenty years.
  • Being a member of boards of elementary, middle school, and high school PTAs  during his daughters schooling in FCPS.
  • By being the Technology chairman of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs for over 10 years.
  • By being a member of the 2003 Community  School Budget Task Force..
  • By being a member of the FCPS “Access for All” Committee which was dedicated to providing all FCPS students with equal access to educational technology at school and at home.

Jo Neuber, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization: co-Chair “Class Size Counts”

CSC advocates for reasonable class sizes in FCPS and the Commonwealth. Previously, Jo worked for over 20 years with Russian physicians and research scientists to promote collaborative partnerships with leading U.S. hospitals and business leaders. Her unique, cross-cultural experience, with non-profits the American International Health Alliance (AIHA) and the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), provided Jo first-hand knowledge of many academic issues pertinent to our schools as well. Jo has a Master’s Degree in Russian Language/International Studies from Georgetown University. Jo is married with two children in FCPS 

Phyllis Payne, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization:

SLEEP (Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal)

Her Passion:


Her Bio:

Phyllis Payne is one of the co-founders of SLEEP (Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal), a grassroots organization dedicated to increasing awareness of adolescent sleep needs and advocating for middle and high school start times that align with student body clocks. She is the Implementation Director for the national non-profit organization, Start School Later, and provides technical assistance to administrators and advocates who are working to provide healthy school hours to students in other local communities.

Phyllis is one of the founding members of the Fairfax Education Coalition. She is the Providence district representative to the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC).

Phyllis works for Scientific Consulting Group as a Senior Health Communication Specialist. She is a science writer, health educator, and former high school science teacher. She has worked on national health education programs and written numerous publications for the National Institutes of Health. She lives in Fairfax with her husband. Her children are in college and graduate school.

Previous volunteer work includes service as the Bailey’s Elementary School PTA Volunteer Coordinator and PTA President and the Woodson High School PTSA/PTSO Volunteer Coordinator. Phyllis has also served as an at-large representative to SHAC and was a member of the FCPS Transportation Task Force.

Phyllis received her Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and her Bachelor’s degree in Bio-psychology and Education from Vassar College.

Virginia Fitz Shea, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization:  Full Schooldays.org

Virginia Fitz Shea led a successful effort to end Monday early dismissals in Fairfax County Public Schools. On June 26, 2014, the Fairfax County School Board voted 10-1 to implement full-day Mondays for all elementary schools starting in September 2014. Students are no longer dismissed 2.5 hours early on Monday afternoons. The uniform elementary day increases instructional time and allows for at least 20 minutes of daily recess for children. Her Full Schooldays blog covers school schedules and student health and wellness.

Dave Thomas, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization: Fairfax Education Association (FEA) Retried Teachers

Dave is a former Board Member of the Fairfax Education Association and former FCPS Teacher.

Kim Farrell

Parent Organization:
Fairfax County Coalition of Advocates for Public Schools (FairfaxCAPS.org)
FEC Email Address:
Kim Farrell is a member of FairfaxCAPS which is a coalition of civic organizations, neighborhood associations, parents, homeowners, and area residents from throughout the region who are dedicated to

Kimberly Adams

Parent Organization:
Fairfax Education Association (FEA)
FEC Email Address:
Kimberly Adams is the President of the Fairfax Education Association. In her 14 years of teaching in Fairfax, Kimberly has been a classroom teacher for 6 years and school librarian for 8 years.

JoAnne Hammermaster

Parent Organization:
Real Food For Kids
FEC Email Address:
JoAnne Hammermaster is co-founder and president of Real Food For Kids, a group that strives to improve the quality of school food in FCPS.

Caroline Hemenway

Parent Organization:
FEC Email Address:
Caroline Hemenway is co-founder and director of www.FairfaxZeroToleranceReform.org, a group of concerned citizens who have convened to fight for reform of Fairfax County public school disciplinary

Janet Otersen, FEC Member

Affiliated Organization: Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform

FEC Email Address:
Janet Otersen is a member of FairfaxZeroToleranceReform.org.

Kate Van Dyck, FEC Member

Parent Organization:
Restore Honors Courses
FEC Email Address:
Kate Van Dyck is a parent of 2 FCPS students who attend/attended schools in the Cluster 4 area of Fairfax County.

Jeffrey Anderson

Parent Organization:
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) -Fairfax
Since 2008, Jeff has been leading the effort within Fairfax County to get more children to walk and bicycle to school.

Since 2008, Jeff has been leading the effort within Fairfax County to get more children to walk and bicycle to school. After requesting a bike rack at Wolftrap Elementary, he teamed up with the National Safe Routes to School Partnership and Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling to successfully lobby FCPS to change School Board policy allowing parents to choose how their children get to school. His children started a Bike Train as a way to promote active transportation to school and has teamed with other parents in Vienna to hold a Bike/Walk Challenge week for 5 years running. His efforts have encouraged more schools to actively promote walking and biking to school across the Fairfax County. Jeff is married and a father of three children at Kilmer and Wolftrap. He spent his career working in engineering and marketing for software companies and has a BS from Brown University and an MBA from The Wharton School. He currently represents the Wolftrap Elementary School PTA on the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council; is the Hunter Mill district representative to the Fairfax County Dept of Transportation Trails & Sidewalks Committee; a member of the FCPS SRTS Working Group; the Chair of the SRTS committee for the Wolftrap PTA and Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, a member of the Board of Directors for Trails for Youth.

Accountability – Transparency – Community Engagement