I want to become the next School Board Member for District #2 because we need to have high expectations for our children, our board, and our school personnel to ensure high quality education and safe learning environments.

I believe that I have the experience, both at the school, district, and community level, to accomplish these goals.

I am a team player and will work diligently with sitting board members to support our administration and our faculty in using research based instructional strategies and the latest educational trends to enhance learning and move us to meet the challenges of then new Millennials.  We must ensure that students are able to have the opportunity, with resources, to reach their full intellectual, academic and social potential.

As we face the many cuts in educational funding, we must look for ways to ensure that our public dollars stay in public education and that resources are allocated and fiscally managed. By analyzing and reviewing the districts’ budget, we can collaboratively address how dollars are appropriated and make changes or adjustments, if necessary.

Fighting for Teachers and Students

I believe that teachers are the grassroots activists of education: our public schools are the heartbeat of our communities and we must continue to combat the struggles that confront public education.  I am well aware that teachers are underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked. I will rally and fight for equal pay, to match other counties and states, and to ensure that respect is brought back to the teaching profession.

I have two grandsons attending middle school in Orange County.  My commitment to my family is what drives my willingness to take on this position and to ensure that my grandsons, and all the other children in our county, have the best education possible with highly qualified teachers, who care about their future, rather than a statistic on a standardized test.

Opposing Standardized Testing

I believe in accountability across the district schools, community, and school board.  I understand that we need to measure student’s academic success by helping them meet the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards established by the FL Department of Education.  However, I do not believe that one single test, Florida Standards Assessment, is the only tool we can use to measure academic success, articulating from grade level to grade level, or graduating from high school.  I believe we have many ways to assess student’s abilities.  All of us learn differently; therefore, we should be able to demonstrate what we have learned in different ways.

Funding for Public Education

Our district has a 3.7 billion dollar budget.  Fiscal responsibility is essential to the survival of any school board.  It is imperative that our dollars, which are broken down into line items (Federal, State, Local dollars and other grants) stay within our public education, instead of going to privatizing our educational system.  We have to allocate dollars, not only to build new schools with the constant population growth in our district, but have a capital budget to replace aging schools and build infrastructure for digital transitions.

Ensuring Safe Learning Environments

Safe is of grave concern right now for our educational systems.  Ensuring that our schools are safe learning environments is essential to me.  I want my grandchildren to feel safe when they get to school, while at school, and when they come home.  I am definitely against arming our personnel.  Our schools are sacred institutions of learning, not gun ranges.  Our personnel have so many responsibilities already, and are so busy concentrating on ensuring that our children have the best education possible, that it is unjust to have them think about arming themselves.  We need to make sure that our schools have appropriate safety features (video cameras, safe grounds, and Security Resource Officers).  We also need increased support staff to deal with mental health and psychological services.

As a member of my community, and one who is seeking a seat on the school board, it is of the upmost importance to secure that our students are safe and learning in an environment that is conducive to academic achievement.