Former School Board Members Janie Strauss and Ilryong Moon Honored with Facilities Renaming

By Communication and Community Relations
November 12, 2021
Janie Strauss
Janie Strauss
Ilryong Moon
Ilryong Moon

The contributions of two former Fairfax County School Board members were recognized at the School Board meeting on November 11 when two school facilities were renamed in their honor.

The theater dressing rooms at McLean High School were renamed after Janie Strauss, a School Board member for the Dranesville District from 1993 to 2019, an avid former educator, and director of the nationally acclaimed Critics Awards Program for High School Theater, known as the Cappies. Her three children graduated from McLean where they were active in the arts and athletics. The McLean High School theater dressing rooms will be known as the “Janie Strauss Dressing Rooms.

“Janie Strauss has made education her life’s work, as a teacher, through two decades of volunteer service, and as the longest serving woman on the FCPS School Board,” said Tamara Derenak Kaufax, School Board member for the Lee District. “She is a model of stability and patience, is respectful and inclusive, energetic and strong, and a trusted counselor and friend.” 

Strauss served as the president of the Fairfax County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations and chair of its education and budget committees. She also served on many key education and youth-related committees, including the Fairfax County Public Schools Career and Technical Preparation Task Force, the Division Planning Committee, the Citizens Bond Committee, and the Fairfax Framework for Student Success. 

“It has been my honor to serve the children and families of Fairfax County, and to have had the opportunity to be a proud member of the School Board,” said Strauss.

Ilryong Moon, an At-Large School Board member from 1995 to 2019, was honored with a resolution dedicating the main gym at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in his name. The gym will now be known as “Ilryong Moon Gymnasium.” 

Moon's two sons attended TJHSST. He was appointed an At-Large member of the School Board in 1995 and in November of that year became the first Asian-American to be elected to a public office in Virginia.

“I truly appreciated that my time serving with Mr. Moon, after eight years of service together, he became such a wise counsel for me,” said Meghan McLaughlin, School Board representative for the Braddock District. “One of the things that was so characteristic of Mr. Moon is, not only that he was known for his professionalism, but was the way he treated everyone with respect and dignity. One of the things he tried to teach me over and over again, was to show your praise in public and share your constructive feedback in private,” added McLaughlin.

Moon served as chairman of the School Board in 2006, 2012, and 2013, and three terms as vice chairman in 2005, 2011, and 2018. He led the push by the School Board to require full-time certified athletic trainers at each high school, and also volunteered his time for the TJHSST athletic department, handling concessions, working the ticket booth, and serving as an announcer. 

“Sports is a universal language. Sports can help our students and members of the community overcome whatever barriers they may have. Sports can bring mankind together,” said Moon.

See the full resolution presentation in the video below.