Marcia St. John-Cunning has been a resident of the Franconia district in Fairfax County for 35 years. She and her husband live in the Wilton Knoll neighborhood. Their 3 daughters have attended Rose Hill Elementary, Twain Middle School and and graduated from Edison HIgh School, with one daughter attending the Fairfax Academy for musical theater.
She began her career as a legislative aide for Congressman Ronald Coleman where she also served as staff coordinator for the then newly formed Congressional Border Caucus. Marcia then joined Hispanic Magazine as administrative assistant to the publisher when it launched.
After starting a family, Marcia switched gears and joined Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) as a parent liaison, Spanish language interpreter, and eventually Family Engagement Region 3 Representative. When FCPS launched its first elementary community school pilot, Marcia joined United Community to serve as the on-site Community School Coordinator (CSC) at Mt. Vernon Woods Elementary.
Her role as family liaison began at Key Middle School and eventually spanned Rose Hill Elementary, Edison High School, Hybla Valley Elementary, and Bucknell Elementary.
When she recognized the lack of affordable enrichment opportunities for students, she founded the free pre-pandemic reRoute US 1 Summer STEAM Program for students at Bucknell, Hybla Valley, and Mt. Vernon Woods elementary schools. Marcia also founded the Monarca Ballet Folklorico dance group that successfully operated for more than ten years at Rose Hill Elementary and then Bucknell Elementary.
As a community advocate, Marcia spearheaded the effort to convert the parent liaison role from hourly to an hourly contracted unified pay scale position with the inclusion of full benefits. Additionally, she organized parents to successfully advocate to retain a de-funded position at Bucknell Elementary and to bring turf fields to West Potomac and Mt. Vernon High schools.
Marcia was one of five Family Engagement Region Representatives, and provided support and guidance to school administrators and family liaisons in the West Potomac, Hayfield, Edison, Lewis, and Mt. Vernon high school pyramids.
As the CSC, Marcia worked with the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team (SCYPT) to develop the template for the Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) community school model. She established and coordinates a community room housing a clothing, hygiene, and school supply closet as well as an emergency food pantry available to school families and the community at-large. Marcia works closely with the CSC at Whitman Middle School to leverage partnerships for both schools which provide needed support that range from addressing food insecurity, parenting programs, dental and vision screenings, access to mental health services, and vaccination clinics.
Marcia currently serves on the FCPS Core Strategic Planning Committee as the Hispanic Education Association/Hispanic Leadership Alliance (HEA/HLA) representative.
After 24 years of service working in Fairfax County Public Schools, all of which were in South County, Marcia is running to represent the open Franconia District seat on the Fairfax County School Board to continue her work serving, empowering and advocating for the students, staff, and families of the community she loves.