Saines Presents Life Lessons at Smart’s Mill


Hard work.

Dedication.

Find your passion.

Ask questions.

Those are the life lessons imparted to sixth-graders by Loudoun County Supervisor Koran Saines (Sterling District) during a Black History Month assembly held on Friday, February 22nd, at Smart’s Mill Middle School.

Saines was elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in 2015.  His election victory coincided with that of Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall.  On election night 2015, Saines and Randall, respectively, became the first man of color and first woman of color to be elected to the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County’s then-258-year history.

Saines discussed his path to becoming an elected official at Smart’s Mill. He was born in Fairfax County.  His mother was an immigrant from Liberia, and his father was from Tennessee.  Saines moved to the Countryside neighborhood in Sterling from Reston in seventh grade.  He attended Seneca Ridge Middle School and is a graduate of Broad Run High School.

Saines described himself as a C+ student who earned a general studies diploma and occasionally spent some time in in-school suspension.  Despite that start, Saines was the first in his family to graduate from college.  He attended Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne to study human resources.  He said the small campus was what he needed at the time, because he couldn’t skip class without being missed.

Today, Saines is employed as a recruitment supervisor for Washington Gas and leads a six-person team.  He said he loves his job and encouraged students to find something they love to do every day.  Saines noted that hard work has been critical to his success.  He started working while still in middle school, mowing neighbors’ lawns for $20.  At the age of 16, he went to work at Target in the Cascades Shopping Center so that he could save up enough money to buy a car.

His decision to enter politics came after he purchased his first home in Sterling in 2009.  He said that he observed issues in the community and called and emailed his supervisor to have them addressed.  Saines said he received no response to those calls and emails.  He persisted with his concerns, taking them to the Sheriff’s Office and county government employees.  Within two months, the issues were resolved.  Finding solutions to these problems inspired him to run for office.  He outlined for students the qualifications to run for the Board of Supervisors and emphasized the importance of participation in the political process.  Saines’ dedication was evident in his description of making phone calls to raise funds for his campaign and of going door-to-door to speak with constituents.

Saines elaborated on his work as a supervisor.  He discussed the large amount of reading needed to prepare for meetings.  He outlined the responsibilities of the Board of Supervisors and shared that he had served in student government both in high school and college.  He said that asking questions is fundamental to the learning of a public official.

Smart’s Mill Principal Will Waldman said the purpose of the assembly was to “celebrate Black History Month in meaningful ways” by having “local community leaders share their stories of success and hurdles or barriers on their journey.”

Additional local leaders were scheduled to speak to other classes at the school later in the day. Randall spoke to eighth-graders, while Tanja Thompson of the Loudoun County NAACP spoke to seventh-graders.

 

02/22/19/spk