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Guía de Votantes

Smyrna School Board - at large

School boards are elected trustees who oversee the local school district and represent the community in matters affecting education. In Delaware, school board service is an unpaid position with a term of 5 years. School board elections are nonpartisan, and are held on the second Tuesday in May each year.The school board…Sets the vision and goals for the school districtEstablishes policies that give the district direction to set priorities and achieve its goalsHires and evaluates the superintendentAdopts and oversees the annual budgetManages the collective bargaining process for district employeesSets student performance standardsApproves curriculumApproves the school calendarSelects transportation systemsApproves contracts with outside vendorsManages facilities/construction issuesIn Smyrna School District, seven Board of Education members are elected on a rotating basis (with one or two seats open each year) from the district at large.

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  • Candidate picture

    Diane Eastburn

  • Candidate picture

    Charlie D Wilson

Información Biográfica

What is your vision for education in your community?

What is your background and how do/would those experiences and skills allow you to be an effective school board member?

The biggest dilemma in Delaware public schools right now is the reopening of public schools. When should your District resume full classroom instruction, and what is the school board's role in the safe return to physical buildings for students and staff?

Are you satisfied with the education outcomes in your school district such as literacy, numeracy, and graduation rates? If yes, please elaborate. If no, please explain.

What do you believe is a school board member’s role and responsibilities? Please elaborate.

How do you view the Education Equity Lawsuit Settlement currently on the table before the General Assembly?

Residence (neighborhood/area): Kent County, Smyrna School District
Campaign email: cedarridge90@aol.com
Campaign Phone: (302) 242-6692
Related affiliations and roles: Advocate for students with specisal needs in public school
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) No
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? 6 Prior to covid - I attended almost all board meeting over the last 5 years
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): I am a proud army Brat with well over 18 years of famiily service. Upon moving to the Clayton area my husband and I raised our two children in the Smyrna School District. I have served on the Buildings & Facilities Committee & Teacher of the Year Selection Committee over many years. I served on PTO's, and as a substitute teacher. I developed a Bike Safety Program that was awarded Special Recognition from US President Bill Clinton. I was a member of The Governor's Task Force for the Improvement of the IEP Process. Additionally, I have done bipartisan work with Sen. Chris Coons to extend FSA accounts throught the December 2020 Covid Stimulus Package. This addition saved citizens across the US from loosing FSA funds. I believe that these examples of my leadership and forethought clearly shows my leadership abilities and ability to work with many people. As an advocate for students with disabilities I have 29+ years of experience working with schools all over.
My vision for the Smyrna School District is to provide a strong basis to judge where we are and what direction we need to move towards regarding our student's education. As an advocate that works with families in eery district inthe state, I am fully aware of what services are available, what programs should be made available, and how and when they need to to implemented. I have worked within all political bodies to accomplish goals I thought to be of importance, on every side of an aisle for students and education. I believe that part of being effectivee in this district require an individual free of nepotism, or relations to others employed within the district. I am the ONLY CANDIDATE who can say that I have NO FAMILY MEMBER EMPLOYED or working for the district I seek to represent.I believe administrators should be evaluated and accountable for test scores & teachers should be able to work without fear of an administration.
I am a proud Army Brat with 18+ yars of family service. We moved often and learned the art of solving problems, finding restorative solutions, all while being true to one's beliefs while defending others. As a busness manager. Schools are large businesses, to the taxpayers, they are the largest employer in our town, therefore the power they hold is to often misused. This is our community and for far to long we have been ushered out of the educational process and as taxpayers, paretns, teachers, and students we want a greater say in the way things are run. Over the last 5 years I have attended more board meetings than any other community member. I have established relationships with my work as an advocate that has earned the level of respect I cherrish.To be effective as a board memberone must always remember that they are representing the taxpayer, my community. I believe that I will be their watchdog - their line of protection.
Children are best served inside our school buildings! I absolutely agreed that teachers and staff needed to be moved to the head of the vaccine line - to get the medical coverage they deserved so our students could return to full time in person learning. With recent CDC updates on surface spread of Covid 19 - we should better focus on ventilation, so we can sanitize buildings during off hours. We do know the emotional state of students. They suffer from anxiety at levels never seen before. Every day students are out of a build is another life at risk. The impact of students at home is seconomic also, if parents can't work because they are teaching thier kids, businesses will continue to close forever. No slow return, get them back in school. Our kindergarten students start day one a full day - no reason to change now. There will be a handful of teachers and students who due to medical complications can not return - services can be provided - the rest must return!
The educational outcome in my district is abysmal at best. Our math and reading scored are not near an acceptable level. We keep changing curriculum in hopes to find a golden ring instead of looking for the root of the problem. We can not continue to fail our students with poor curriculum, poor basic skills, horrific life skills, and most importantly poor future employability. We must focus on student's success and by putting the focus back on students, finding thier peaks and valleys - having restorative education in addition to restorative punishments. We can no longer hyper focus on restorative punishment and continue to throw children out of school. Teachers complain they are not trained, most of our special education teachers (dule certified) took a test. This is not acceptable. Teachers need to be allowed to teach. Until we get back to basic skills and evaluate the entire curriculum, we continue to supply society with young adults totall unprepared for life.
I believe that the roll of any school board is first to be the watch dogs for the taxpayers. It is their obligation to ensure that every penny given to a district is spent in a way that enhanses and enriches the eduactional process. A school board has the responsibility to the community it serves to produce the most capable, smart, world ready yound people by providing them with the education required to stay in the community as employable citizens or prepare them for continuing education. It is not just our responsibility but our duty to our community. A failure on any level is not acceptable.
In this time - during a global pandemicdetermining equity currently would be at best a vague guess. Students have not had standardized tests in over a year so all measures will be on outdated data. Are we looking for equity school wide, district wide or state wide? Inequity is based off the idea that we have not provided enough elevated supports to bring everyone to the same level. However, is that the issue or is it the measure of funding and how the funding is done. Delaware uses a September 30 count - that decides funding for the entire year. I suggest we use 1/4 funding system. Every 4 months new data is collected. In our district - for example - packing the English as a Second Language class with American born studnets who speak English, but who look different or have a name that sounds different. Pulling them until after the unit count then in October they stop attending the class, but where are those funds really going? We need to service those with the need.
Residence (neighborhood/area): Green Meadows II Smyrna, Delaware
Campaign email: drcdwil@aol.com
Campaign Phone: (302) 465-3488
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) N
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? Three virtual meetings, but have reviewed all meeting minutes.
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): I am an associate dean at DSU, and have lived in Smyrna for over 20 years. Our four sons graduated from Smyrna, and have either graduated (two from UD) or are currently attending universities (in MA and PA). I have been involved in the community as a youth football coach, wrestling referee, and baseball umpire. I have previous Board experience (including holding the position of President) at a local charter school, and am familiar with K-16 curricular and general education matters. My PhD in Molecular Biology is from the UD, and I am a proud Marine Corps veteran. I am a "Student First" educator with experience in leadership, problem-solving, and optimizing resource utilization. Because of the pandemic, my wife lost her job of 15 years teaching at a preschool, a son failed to find a job in Math and Economics, and another son took his courses at home instead of in MA. They are all part-time employees in the District. They receive no benefits and are not relevant to any Board position.
I envision an active and dynamic educational environment in which the Smyrna School District plays a critical and wide-reaching role. Of course, improving the effectiveness of educational processes and strategies in the schools should be of most immediate concern. There is certainly room for improvement (elaborated on in another question) in several metrics of the District’s performance. However, I also see the education system as a central resource for engagement of the community in civic and social matters, and issues around science and art literacy. The people in the district pay good money in taxes to support the School District, and the knowledge base, expertise, facilities, and grounds should be viewed as resources for all members of the community. Interactions with local businesses and other agencies can impact the entire citizenry. I view the education system in Smyrna as a physical hub for activity, and as a partner with others in improving life and learning in our community.
Education continues to be a central part of my life and purpose. In addition to the K-12 years I spent growing up in the Milford area, I have ten spent years obtaining a B.S. and PhD, working as a Teaching Assistant in graduate school. From 1997 until the present, I have worked as a faculty member and chair at DSU, and now as the associate dean for academics in a College. Working at the university level has allowed me to see the strengths and weaknesses of the educational systems in Delaware and surrounding areas in a unique way. Higher education should ideally partner more closely with K-12 education to improve the education processes. I also have leadership experience in the Marine Corps, as a former Board member and president at a local charter school, and in my current job as a College administrator. My experiences in personnel management, curriculum evaluation relative to standards, problem solving, and in efficiently managing resources should be of good use on the Board.
I believe the public schools should be open to normal attendance as soon as possible. With only a couple of months remaining in the current school year, it may be best to maintain the current format, even if the state was declared “Open”. But certainly by the beginning of school in the fall, we should be at a point where we can not only get back to “normal”, but perhaps be at an improved efficiency based on best practices and technology learned and mastered over this past year. The students learn best in the classroom, and frankly speaking, I believe the teachers are at their best in the physical classroom as well. The school board should keep abreast of the state recommendations around the pandemic, and remain agile enough to respond to any changes. The Board should also be preparing for the resources, scheduling, and transportation necessary for traditional teaching in the fall. Support for additional resources during the “educational recovery” should also be provided by the Board.
Although the math and reading proficiency ratings are slightly above the state averages, ranking in the top 50% in the state is simply not good enough, and should fall below all of our expectations. Graduation rates have increased lately, and at close to 90% demonstrate a commitment to improvement by the District. Smyrna ranks at the top in the state athletically, and should be achieving academic performance scores in the top 70-75%. Deliberate and strategic steps will be needed to make that jump. It can’t happen overnight, but hopefully the additional resources pending with the recent passage of the referendum will assist in improving teacher-student ratios, programs, and performance indicators for our District. No, as an educator, I am not satisfied with several of our education outcomes. But I am confident that steps can be taken to make the needed improvements.
I believe that the role of the School Board should be to plan, prepare, fund, implement, and supervise all aspects of the school system. The Board should constantly seek ways to utilize the limited resources available, while exploring novel ways to increase funding or resources. I believe the recent referendum was in line with that goal. The Board is elected by, and answers to, the people in the community. I feel that the members of the Board should not micromanage or be too involved in the day-to-day administration of the district. They should be close enough to stay informed, but distant enough to remain in an advisory and supervisory role. Approving academic curricula, hiring of qualified teachers and staff, evaluation of the performance of the administration, ensuring the health and welfare of all students and employees, providing sound fiscal management, maintenance of buildings and facilities, and other concerns, all fall under the responsibilities of the School Board.
I view the Settlement with cautious optimism. Any measure to increase funding to disadvantaged students or those with special educational needs is welcomed, and should be celebrated. I am especially happy to see a commitment to a real assessment of “where the money is going” and to providing additional support for families to handle issues of discipline, unfair treatment of students, and suspected cases of a lack of access to resources that our students need and deserve. The broad nature of the proposed actions is very appealing. It stands in stark contrast to those having single issue advocacy, which concerns me for a Board member. All populations of our students, with varying needs, have to be supported and championed at all times. A school board has to be broad-minded and circumspect enough to seek improvement and resource deployment for the entire student body.