Ryan McElveen’s rise to fame

Students experienced an odd week of school the first week back after winter break.

Due to the polar vortex, an extremely cold cyclone in the atmosphere which affected much of the country, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) officials had to make decisions regarding safety and concern for students the week of Jan. 5.

Because of extremely cold temperatures, FCPS had to cancel school the Tuesday following winter break. School Board Member-at-Large Ryan McElveen recently rose to fame amongst FCPS students on Twitter after consistently breaking the news of the cancellations and delays.

“My goal has always been to provide accurate information to students as quickly as possible,” McElveen said. “Somehow, some students caught on to the fact that I had insight into weather cancellations, and my name spread virally from there.”

As McElveen gained more Twitter followers, students started tweeting jokes about how much they love him and sent him pictures of his face placed on various bodies, such as Santa Claus or being placed next to Ryan Seacrest. McElveen differs from other School Board members by his willingness to tweet back at students and joke around, allowing students to want to get to know him and be informed.

“He’s like Santa Claus but instead of presents he gives FCPS snow days” said junior Jack Forjan.

While McElveen has been given a lot of credit for causing snow days, the real power behind the decision lies in the hands of Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Platenberg, who talks to various transportation and weather services to declare his decision. McElveen and other School Board members have the chance to offer their input before the final decision is made.

Regardless of how much power McElveen has in the actual closings and delays, he has become the prime FCPS official in the students’ eyes, and his social media has opened a new relationship between students and the county.