"My focus is to serve the students, employees of Sarasota County Schools and the community we live in. The community needs a clear voice on the School Board. I want to work for you, our community, and keep out special interests. We must stop the partisanship which has ripped the school board apart and caused so much chaos. I will work with ALL the school board members and help build consensus. We need to close the achievement gap, provide better pay and professional development for our teachers and staff, provide equality and equity to all our students and employees. With 30 years of experience working at government agencies, large and small corporations, and universities, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated topics that face our schools and community, and get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
"I believe that public education and public schools are one of the greatest inventions of mankind."
A well-run school district embraces equality and equity for all our students and employees. It is a welcoming place where students feel safe to express themselves and their ideas. It provides college and career pathways for all our students. It helps and supports the students who are having struggles and it challenges our students who are top performers. It focuses resources and attention to our special needs, English as a second language, and our lowest-performing students to help them grow and succeed.
It is also a place where teachers and employees receive a livable wage and are provided the tools to do their jobs. It encourages the administration to put the teachers first and work hand in hand with them for the benefit of the students and the community. It provides opportunities for growth for ALL our employees.
Finally, a well-run school district LISTENS to our community. We work for you! The students, employees, community, and partners all need a voice at the table and to work hand in hand with the school board. Only together can we continue to improve Sarasota County Schools and make it a shining example for others to follow.
We have not faced a challenge like Covid-19 in our lifetimes. We need to address how our students and employees will or will not be able to return to the classrooms in the fall. We must be proactive and have plans for a full return, stay at home distance learning, or a hybrid approach. We need to have plans in place to address our special needs students and ensure that we are providing the proper education and support services that are required. We need to have a plan in place to provide additional resources to support our students that might struggle in a distance learning environment. We must have a single platform for our students to learn on, we need to use a scheduling system so that students aren't being asked to be on three different classes at the same time. We need to understand the proper amount of assignments and additional work is appropriate in a distance learning environment. Many students have challenges in the home while trying to accomplish distance learning. We need to be sensitive to this fact and make sure we support ALL of our students and teachers in this new style of instruction lead teaching and learning.
We need to re-imagine ways of closing the achievement gap between our students. Although the school district and our wonderful community partners have spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours we still have significant differences between our different student groups in reading level, math level, and graduation percentages. We need to team with our partners and the families of our community to work together to address this critical issue. When a student falls behind in reading it makes everything harder. Harder to get through their homework, harder to comprehend the assignments in all of their classes, and causes stress and mental health issues. I propose to create a community working group to address this critical issue.
Embracing diversity has never been more important than today. We must support all our students and employees! There is should be zero tolerance for hate, harassment, or bullying anywhere, but especially at the school district. We need to encourage every student to reach out to others, invite them to participate, help them when they see someone in need.
For our employees, we need to ensure that we encourage everyone to apply for whichever position they feel qualified for. We need more diversity at our administrative levels. The best-qualified candidate whomever they are should get the position and we need to make sure that everyone feels encouraged and welcome to take the next step in their career.