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Guía de Votantes

Christina School Board - District F

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 district Establishes policies that give the district direction to set priorities and achieve its goals Hires and evaluates the superintendent Adopts and oversees the annual budget Manages the collective bargaining process for district employees Sets student performance standards Approves curriculum Approves the school calendar Selects transportation systems Approves contracts with outside vendors Manages facilities/construction issuesSeven citizens elected by the residents of the Christina School District serve as the Board of Education. Collectively they set the direction and develop policy for 28 schools that serve approximately 14,000 students. Each board member lives in a separate electoral area, but serves (and is elected by) the residents at large. Terms are staggered; one or two seats are open each year.

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  • Candidate picture

    Naveed Baqir

  • Candidate picture

    Warren K Howell

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): 13 Buttonwood Ct, Newark DE 19702
Campaign Phone: (302) 786-1055
Related affiliations and roles: Co-Chair: Friends of Christina School District (FOCSD), Member: Citizens Budget Oversight Committee Member: Referendum Steering Committee Board Member: TeenSHARP Vice President: People to People International Delaware Chapter Volunteer: Tarbiyah School
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) No
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? All
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): Naveed Baqir, PhD, is a systems architect, software engineer, and community activist. He was a public elementary school teacher during the late 1990s and has taught at the University of Delaware and other universities. He completed his high school with distinction and after earning graduate degrees in Technology Management in 2004 and Business Administration in 2005 from Eastern Illinois University, he earned his Ph.D. in information systems from the University of North Carolina in 2009. In late 2019, he helped formalize the structure of Friends of Christina School District, a nonprofit that advocates for the Christina School District. He was instrumental in successfully bringing in grant money to Christina School District that were used to provide technology and safety equipment for teachers and students at Christina. He has served on the Citizens Budget Oversight Committee and referendum steering committee that successfully won the referendum in a landslide during 2020.
Website or social media link: http://www.NaveedForChristina.com
It takes a village to raise a child!!! My vision of education in our community is a focus on the community coming together to support schools, and teachers, and students to develop shared beliefs and a common language of learning and progress. I believe in collaboratively working together in a culture of openness to learning, and knowing that all students can be successful. I believe in creating opportunities for learning through community activities and engagement.
My experience as a public school teacher, as well as teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, gives me experiences that will guide me to be an effective school board member. Through my vast community involvement and serving on several volunteer committees and boards, I have developed the leadership experience and have fostered multiple community connections that are needed to get things moving. Rallying people is my strength and my track record of taking action speaks for itself. My perspective, as a member of an underrepresented minority community, allows me to reach minority communities that are typically not engaged in District affairs. Considering that our District is a minority-majority, it leaves a huge opportunity for fresh ideas to bring about positive change through community involvement.
Although we just went through unprecedented times last year with COVID unleashing on every aspect of our lives. I believe the biggest dilemma has been the lack of preparedness and decisiveness which has transcended into incoherent decisions at the school district level. Delay in developing technology infrastructure and vaccine roll out to teachers and school staff have created the biggest hindrance.

Although there is hope on the horizon as thousands of educators get vaccinated, school boards need to be prepared for the windfall of COVID-related money as part of the 128 billion allocated for schools in the most recent Biden stimulus package. Christina School District alone stands to receive tens of millions of dollars. That money comes with a deadline. It should be used to build infrastructure for decades to come that will prepare our schools to be more flexible and responsive to future crises. The school boards need to put policies in place that exhibit environmental stewardship.
Although the recent trends at Christina show hope, there is still plenty that needs to be done. I believe in "shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars". Focus on supporting students for prestigious colleges and universities and careers will naturally elevate literacy, numeracy, and graduation rates. The goal should not be to get students out of schools but to give them the best tools and resources to do well in the next phase of their life goals, be it higher education, trade or skill.
A school board member has the responsibility to set vision and goals for the district and adopt policies that give the district direction to set priorities and achieve its goals. I think of a board member as not just the voice of the community that elected him/her but also the one who has the responsibility to guide and lead the community forward. A board member must collaborate with stakeholders in advancing policy-level improvements that encourage an environment of equity, inclusion, access, transparency, safety, justice, and support.
It is much delayed but welcome start. Inequity in education takes multiple forms. Inequities in funding and resources are just the tip of the iceberg. Disparate discipline, inequitable access to school programs, and unfair treatment are well-documented but unaddressed areas of concern. In the case of Christina School District, 9 of the 21 state senators (42%) have their sente districts overlap Christina, with 14 state representatives with overlapping state house districts with Christina. I intend to work with these members of the general assembly to push for funding reforms and equitable distribution of funds based on individual needs. The need for the permanence of opportunity grant will be a crucial step in this direction as well. A periodic and holistic assessment of the Delaware public school finance system is needed to bring about much-needed transparency to school financing. I plan to work with the members of the general assembly to push for these reforms.
Residence (neighborhood/area): 238 Romney Blvd. Newark, DE 19702 (Huntington / Christina Nom Dist. F)
Campaign email: wkhowellsr@comcast.net
Campaign Phone: (302) 494-1980
Related affiliations and roles: - Current Member - Christina School Board - Member / School Liaison - Delcastle HS PTA Member - NCCVTEA Member - Newark NAACP
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) Yes
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? 16
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): I reside in the Christina School District and currently a member of the Christina School District’s Board of Education, chosen by the Board to complete the term of my predecessor. I retired from the United States Marine Corps and went on to be a leader in the areas of Information Technology and Adult Education. I am currently employed in the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District as a Parent and Community Engagement Coordinator. I have a BA in Organizational Management from Eastern University and a master’s degree in School Leadership from Wilmington University. I truly believe that education is the foundation and the steppingstone to improving life’s circumstances and that free, accessible, public education is a cornerstone of the United States. A lifetime of leadership, a year of experience as a board member and formal education and experience in adult and K-12 education has allowed me to be, and continue to be an effective school board member
My vision is: To have a Christina School District that meets the expectations of the families, Teachers and Students. To have fiscally responsible administrative leadership and to have Christina schools be the choice of New Castle County Residents for public education
I have devoted a lifetime to public service and have been a lifelong advocate to the well-being and education of children and families. I am currently a Board Member of the Christina School District, chosen by the Board to complete the term of my predecessor. I retired from the United States Marine Corps and went on to be a leader in the areas of Information Technology and Adult Education. I am currently employed in the NCC Vo-Tech School District as a Parent and Community Engagement Coordinator. I have a BA in Organizational Management and a master’s degree in School Leadership. I truly believe that education is the foundation and the steppingstone to improving life’s circumstances and that free, accessible, public education is a cornerstone of the United States. A lifetime of leadership, a year of experience as a board member and formal education and experience in adult and K-12 education has allowed me to be, and continue to be an effective school board member
Since March 2020 each decision that our school board has made has measured the safety of students, teachers and staff. As we move forward, how we handle loss learning will be a large consideration of all decisions that are made. The future "traditional" school day must incorporate pandemic safety measures, virtual learning, improved student achievement measures and a more comprehensive substitute teacher plan.
The Christina School District's outcomes have not been as good as our potential says that we should be. There are numerous reasons why our outcomes are in the lower 50% of the state's school districts. Our numbers say that we should be better; we have a better student to teacher ratio than the state average, we have the funding for needed resources and we have qualified teachers. We care about the welfare of our students and our curriculums are designed for higher than satisfactory outcomes. So, you might ask, "why the poor outcomes?" My answer is that we must have the will to find the level of need for each student and place each student in the best position to succeed.
I believe that a school board member's role is to; first identify the best available administrative leader for the school district and then provide that leader with the tools they need to succeed. Next, I believe that a board member should ensure that the policies and practices provide for the education of students and the safety for students and teachers to provide and receive that education. Finally, a board member should work with the district's administration to ensure fiscal responsibility.
The key thesis in the Supreme Court Case, “Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al.” was that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal". That unanimous 9-0 decision spoke directly to equity in education. I view the Education Equity Lawsuit Settlement as a continuation of providing the equity that Brown -v- Board… implied. While there have been steps taken in Delaware and the Christina School District toward equality and equity, there are still many steps that must be taken, with respect to equity, to achieve the closure of learning gaps, technology gaps and assessment gaps.