Why are you running for this position?
I want every child in our district to grow and develop into the best version of themselves, to have stories of all the amazing teachers who believed in them as the best and the brightest, who loved them for who they are and pushed them to be more. I want our children to know that when something hurtful happens, they have students, teachers, administrators and other parents who will stand up for them, protect them and show them love.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Building on the previous work of the district in addressing the space needs and cultural responsiveness trainings of administrators and teachers, I see three additional areas the district should address as the inequities within the current system, closing the achievement gap and promoting better mental health and wellness for our children. There has been a lot of good work started and I see these additional areas as complimentary.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
As a board member, how would you foster communication with teachers and parents?
I believe in transparency and acknowledging lived experiences. As a board member I will be open to hearing from parents, teachers, students and other interested parties in our community. I will bring forward issues and engage in conversations around these matters. I am a collaborator and advocate by nature and fostering communication is the only way to achieve these goals.
Do you feel students should be attending the school year virtually, in-person or via the hybrid model as they are?
This school year is not normal and it is impossible to provide a simple answer to an extraordinarily complex problem. The information on safety is ever changing. Preparing for a school year knowing that tomorrow will be different is daunting. As someone who has been intimately involved in the COVID-19 response at the state level I understand the difficulty and anxiety these decisions provoke. I commend the teachers, administrators and board members for their work. The best compromise is one where everyone feels they gained something and loss something. This school year is a compromise.
Should the 2020-2021 school year have been prolonged to further prepare students and families for the academic year?
The decision on when to start the school year was made based on the work done by the teachers and administration. The board’s approval to delay the start per the request of the administration was unanimous. Making judgements on the decisions in hindsight are not fair or appropriate, in my opinion, because as a community person I do not have access to all the information the district leaders and board have in order to make those determinations. The unanimous vote shows unity and support for the decision and I agree with their recommendation.
Would you have changed anything in regards to the board’s response to COVID-19 and fall education?
The response to COVID-19 and the fall education is still ongoing and ever-changing. New information and requirements are being released frequently and the district and board will have to adjust. I see them as trying to be consistent yet flexible and that is positive for our community. I also hear concerns with lack of communication and clarity. Transparent and consistent communication is necessary to keep parents informed. As a board member I will continue being open to the public and address the requirements to keep our district safe in the future.
What changes, if any, would you make to the district budget?
The district is managing the budget they have and I would like to see how they will use the funds allocated around COVID-19 preparations to ensure continued safety for our teachers, staff and students. It is also necessary to have a technology levy to help with the new technology needs of the district.