PLATFORM- A better US
Students are prepared for life and the career or college of their choice
Families are listened to and influence the direction of the district
Educators are trusted and have the necessary resources to provide meaningful quality instruction
Schools are physically, mentally, and emotionally safe spaces for all students
Community partnerships are developed and maintained to help guide our district into the future
LIST OF ISSUES
Facilitating student learning is the primary function of public schools. To maximize student learning, students must feel safe, respected, and valued. Of course, this means safety from physical harm, but this also means that students are not subjected to mental, emotional, or spiritual trauma once they arrive in school. This is especially true following the trauma resulting from Covid-19 and the subsequent global pandemic. Therefore, schools must systemically ensure all students' safety because when one student feels unsafe, disrespected, or unvalued, all other students are in danger.
Once students feel safe, respected, and valued, the focus must be centered on ensuring a balanced, high-quality education that is the bedrock to achieving student learning. With an eye on college AND career opportunities, students must be prepared to realize any measure of success students and families decide to pursue.
-Improving student and staff access to mental health services- CrossRoad, Premier Behavioral Services, etc
-Promote life skills alongside traditional academic curriculum
I would be remised if I didn't acknowledge my desire to retire from the classroom. Even as a school administrator, I regularly feel the currently insatiable itch to teach and be back in the classroom, planning, teaching, managing, and grading. But as much as I loved teaching, there were so many administrative and non-academic factors that regularly prevented teachers from teaching. I left the classroom in hopes of addressing these factors.
While teachers are constantly fighting an uphill battle, often without enough resources and the general public's respect, I have been a consistent advocate for increasing teacher support, morale, and resources. This translates to ensuring all teachers have access to high-quality curricular resources, adequate planning time, fair and competitive pay and benefits, and the respect of being a professional. Together, these are a real demonstration of teacher respect and support.
-Reduce in-services/ professional development and promote individualized coaching based on teacher needs
-Provide teachers with classroom stipends for resources procurement
All schools must prioritize their students with unique and special needs. Even a basic understanding of the Universal Design for Learning asserts that instructional frameworks must be conceptualized and developed with the needs of unique and special populations in mind instead of having frameworks reformed for them later. Therefore districts must provide adequate time and resources to intervention specialists and support staff so that no barrier remains in the path of success for our scholars.
-Annual external audits/ program evaluations of special education program
-Increasing time for teams to design curriculum for students
Athletics and Extra-curricular activities
Since I was knee-high to a fly, I have been playing sports. In high school I was a three sport varsity letterman in high school. I started the Christian Students' Alliance in high school. I sang in the choir. I led the Impact (Community Service) team, participated on the speech and debate team, and was the President of our Principal's Gentlemen's club. In college, I even joined a fraternity. These activities opened doors but also gave me the skills and character to walk through them. Martin L. King Jr. said that character plus intellect was the goal of education. Intellect you develop in the classroom, but character is what you refine in extra-curricular activities. Both are immensely necessary if we desire to continue developing the next generation of community members and leaders.
-Reduce or eliminate Pay-to-Play fees associated with athletic programs
-Recommend one season/ semester of extra-curricular activity participation to all students prior to graduation.
As the schools go, so does the community. For this reason, schools must not only be established as a prime keystone of the community, but they must also develop lasting cooperative relationships with the community. In this process, minimizing risks and costs must be balanced with maximizing opportunities, profits, and outcomes for all community members, from our childless neighbors to our multi-million and billion-dollar companies.
-Connect with and listen to community members that do not have kids in school
-Improve partnerships with local colleges and universities