We can make a difference--together.
The School Board has an exhaustive list of concerns to address in order to ensure that our students have an amazing place to learn and our teachers have inspiring places to work. Who better than to represent your ideas and concerns than a mom who sends her four children to public schools? I have seen, firsthand, the crowded classrooms, the busses running late, and the frustration at the hands of administrators, educators, parents, and students.
Do you know what else I have seen?
contagious school spirit in our buildings.
thoughtful recommendations from a Committee I chaired improve equity in our schools and change the course of children's education.
devoted teachers pulling off some INCREDIBLE feats in the name of education.
bright-eyed children walking to their busses at the end of the day with the look of pride for what they learned in science or created in art class, eager to return in the morning.
It is with this knowledge and experience that I will represent the Garrisonville District on the Stafford County School Board. Below, I have outlined some thoughts I have had on the issues we face.
Do you have other concerns or ideas not listed below? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am happy to talk with you about it.
Mitigating Learning Loss
Learning loss associated with COVID-19 is something we absolutely must address.
While I am not a teacher, I have taken an abandoned regional education event for K-12 girls and not only revived it, but quadrupled participation in 3 years.
We need to recognize our teachers as our learning experts. Together, with parents, I believe we can bridge this gap.
My goal would not be to merely document improved test scores, but to foster the love of learning.
This is especially true for subjects that were difficult to teach virtually such as the arts, PE, library skills, and science.
Big changes are needed here. My experience in major event planning has made me a good 'outside the box' thinker. I'm eager to try new things in the quest for progress.
Just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it can't be done.
My first step would be to recommend a School Board Advisory Committee comprised of families, drivers, and administrators to discuss their experiences and recommend workable improvements to the School Board. My own experience serving on and chairing the Gifted Advisory Committee has been a great experience that has brought about needed changes.
These could include driver pay, route changes, changes to the walker/car rider system, and re-evaluation of the discipline procedures for bus riders who create a hostile and/or unsafe bus riding atmosphere.
It is no secret that Stafford County is growing and our schools are feeling the impact.
According to the Fall 2020 Capacity Utilization Report provided by SCPS, 77% of our schools will be operating above capacity in the next 10 years. More urgently, 4 out of 5 of our high schools will be operating at over 100% capacity by the 2024-2025 school year.
It is time to act, now! Build high school #6 in South Stafford, preferably the Route 17 Corridor, to eliminate the classroom and transportation congestion.
Once our new high school is underway, I am committed to making sure the wheels start turning on the next elementary school.
Innovation & Excellence
I am continually in awe of (and grateful for) the creativity, innovation and commitment of our teachers, especially after being a daily witness to virtual classroom management.
I am eager to build on the success of the Stafford Education Foundation's Teacher Innovation Program so excellence can be rewarded and compensated.
I believe we under-utilize our most important commodity: the teachers in the classroom. Rather than look outside of our system for answers, we need to look inside.
When we want innovative ideas for teaching difficult topics, handling difficult conversations, and managing difficult situations, we should be reaching out to 'the masters' and replicate what is already working.
Research shows that students who feel a strong connection to their schools exhibit more confidence, are more likely to be leaders, are happier, and are more active in their communities.
92% of principals agree that high school spirit is tied to high student achievement. There are equally compelling statistics for workplace satisfaction.
I have met with teachers and PTO Presidents to talk about what they feel would improve the climate in their schools. I look forward to bringing my findings to the Board for action.
Our schools need to continue to be a place where learning and professional excellence can flourish.
I excel in developing relationships and making connections.
I coordinate an annual leadership and education weekend event for 1,000 K-12 girls from 7 states. This event is 100% volunteer run from organizations and individuals within our community.
I look forward to working with the Board of Supervisors to ensure our schools thrive.
We need to think about how to use the 'unbuildable' land we own to expand our educational opportunities, especially career & technical education (CTE).
How do we maximize our partnership with the Stafford County Sheriffs Office?
The opportunities are endless, and I'm committed to exploring them all.