Empezar de nuevo

Guía de Votantes

Christina School Board - District G

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.

Haga clic sobre la foto del candidato para aprender más. Para comparar dos candidatos, haga clic en el botón "compare". Para empezar de nuevo, haga clic sobre la foto de otro candidato.

  • Candidate picture

    Susan V Mitchell

  • Candidate picture

    Donald B Patton

  • Candidate picture

    Delilah Starcks

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): Centennial Village Nominating District "G"
Campaign email: Mitchell4CSD@gmail.com
Campaign Phone: (302) 709-1854
Related affiliations and roles: I retired from the Christina School District after 23 years of teaching English and theatre. Currently I am the secretary of the Newark NAACP. I am a past board member of the LWV NCC and serve as its Student Projects chair. I served on the CSD board in '93-'94 and held many PTA leadership roles, including Delaware District III Vice President. I am still a member of the Newark High PTA. As a teacher, I was an active member of the Christina Education Assn.
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) Yes
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? 6
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): Mitchell has supported public education her entire adult life as a teacher, parent, and community activist. She taught English, and coordinated gifted education in Berea, Ohio. After the American Federation of Teachers invited her on staff, she co-develop a program that received the first "Research into Practice" Award from the American Educational Research Assn. She has trained teachers in the States, and Dept. of Defense teachers in Madrid, Spain. She spent 8 years in The Netherlands and was active in her daughter's school there before relocating to Delaware. Mitchell continued her involvement as a parent at all 4 of the Christina schools her daughter attended, culminating in her graduation from Newark High. Mitchell’s teaching career in Christina began at Gauger-Cobbs in 1994 and finished at Newark High in 2017. In addition to holding her current Board of Education seat, she serves as the CSD representative to the Delaware School Boards Assn. Legislative Committee.
Website or social media link: http://www.susanmitchell4csd.com/
I am somewhat disappointed that Delaware refers to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) as school districts and not school systems because a trusted, functioning system is my vision. To me, a district is more of a geographic or political entity. If we look at an automobile as a system, we know that every mechanism needs to function for the whole vehicle to run and get us from point A to point B safely. So, in a school system everyone (each stakeholder group, if you will) has a role to play in helping our children be successful throughout their school experiences. A system only works well when all involved do their jobs to reach our shared goals. The fragmentation and disparity we have faced lately erodes trust and gets in the way of meeting the needs of all. My vision then is a system that brings educators, support personnel, families, business leaders and students to the table in a win-win situation for everyone.
It was relatively easy for me to accept the appointment last fall and “slide into” the seat I now hold because of extensive experience in the district as a parent (my daughter went through the entire district), teacher, community activist and previous board member. I believe my dedication to public education in general and Christina in particular, and the desire to work for equity in a system that meets the needs of all students, is unparalleled.
Our most critical responsibility is to follow the science and make sure that the administration has done all it can to not just make schools safe but allow students and staff to feel safe in them. If anything good has come out of this pandemic it is that schooling is essential and teachers and other school staff are heroes. With little warning or preparation, or initial resources, they jumped into the new world of virtual/remote teaching and learning. Pre-pandemic, schools pretty much ran on known schedules and the knowledge of who was in the class and who was in the front of it. A little over a year ago, that changed, and everyone had to adjust to often moment-to-moment alterations based on updates of case counts. The board and the administration have followed the science, the protocols, both CDC and state guidance and will continue to do so to get our kids and teachers back in classrooms, with safety being the foremost concern.
At the moment, with over a year of students not being in classes fulltime, grades are suffering and may impact students graduating on time. Pre-pandemic, many of our schools were improving in all three areas, but we can always do better. It goes without saying the hardest part may be ahead as we get on the other side of this. We need to be creative not just in solving "learning loss" due to the past year, but in developing real long-term solutions and programs to continue to close achievement gaps that existed even before the world changed. I look forward to working on our strategic plan and making concrete and workable suggestions to improve.
Officially: governance; meaning creating and adopting policies that meet the needs of our students academically, socially, physically and emotionally. We hire and evaluate the superintendent and have the fiduciary responsibility for the sound management of millions of tax payer dollars.

We are also responsible for listening to members of the community, gathering and synthesizing information, and debating issues before taking positions on policies that will have far-reaching impacts on our school system and ultimately our students. A board member needs to challenge, in a respectful and professional manner, thought and process when he or she feels it is necessary. Finally, we need to be advocates for our schools and the people - students and staff - who work in them, and the families and greater community we serve. Our schools are not broken! However, there is a lot of misinformation out there. We can help make sure our community knows how its schools are working.
I support the litigation and the settlement. It is necessary but unfortunate that it has taken legal action to start crafting a system that works for everyone including the disenfranchised due to unmet needs: historically, students in poverty, non-native English speakers, and some students with special needs. Unfortunately, Delaware is not the only state that has from the outset offered basically two education systems: one for the haves and one for the “have-nots-so-much”. I am hopeful that the light shed on these issues through litigation will compel the General Assembly and the Governor to satisfy the terms of the settlement. Kids! Always kids! It’s all about the kids!
Residence (neighborhood/area): Timber Farms Newark, DE
Campaign email: pattondonald6@gmail.com
Campaign Phone: (302) 266-8014
Related affiliations and roles: LAAA (ASPIRA) Vice-Chair Board of Directors AVID Educational Consultant/Staff Developer
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) Yes
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? 7 Zoom Board Meetings
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): I have served in the roles of Teacher-CHS, Principal-Kirk and Bayard Middle Schools, and Supervisor in the Christina School District for over 23 years. Coached Newark High Schools Girls Basketball Program for 3 years.
Website or social media link: http://www.patton4csdb.com
My vision is to provide every student with a quality education that supports their interest, abilities, and goals, while bridging the gap between home and school. Ensuring careful attention is given to collaboratively creating a healthy, safe, and emotionally supportive learning environment. It is our responsibility to ensure our educational system is equitable and inclusive for ALL learners. When students are at the center of our work, we must continue to improve our educational system for educators, who provide so much support for our students and families.
I am a native Delawarean who has lived in this community my entire life. I was educated in Delaware schools including Delaware State University and Wilmington University. My early professional career was spent in corporate America with DuPont, Sherwin Williams, and Pratt and Lambert. While working in corporate America I coached girls' basketball at Wilmington and Newark High Schools. I left corporate America to pursue a career in education because I thought I could make a difference in the lives of young people. In education, I taught in the classroom, became a building administrator, and supervisor in the district office, which gave a comprehensive perspective on challenges and opportunities in the CSD. These experiences within my background make me the right candidate for the CSD board.
We must sit down with staff members, families (to include appropriate students), community representatives, and professional health staff, to create a comprehensive plan that focuses on the science, learning gaps (that are increasing every day), required/needed PPE, vaccines for all educators (that wish to receive them), a remote/virtual academy for teachers and students that are not ready to return, and creation through collaboration on what our new normalcy will look like. Remote learning could be in place as a permanent offering, where it is supported by appropriate levels of student participation.

The school board should play a significant role in the collaborative efforts to ensure students and staff return to school safely.
No, we have not adequately or effectively served our students and families with regards to literacy, numeracy, or graduation rates for a number of years.

In the past, a lack of consistency in leadership has played a major part in a downward trajectory in increasing student performance, maintaining quality teachers, and building capacity district-wide. We should review the effectiveness of district-wide professional development in literacy and numeracy to ensure we are addressing deficits reflected in state testing, and all student's ability to successfully apply their learning.

The current graduation rate of 76% is not acceptable and could be addressed with appropriate and adequate resources. We need a comprehensive plan that supports the current deficits in literacy, numeracy, and will improve graduation rates.
A school board member is responsible for establishing policies that support an education system that is student-centered, parent-friendly, and responsive to effective oversight of a collaborative and supportive strategic plan. I believe school board members must be transparent, active listeners in the community, and accountable for the successful operation of the district. We hire a superintendent and empower them to perform the day-to-day operations of the district, but should hold them accountable for the stated outcomes of the strategic plan.

It is the responsibility of school board members to make policy, and support operational, academic, social, emotional, financial, and extracurricular decisions for all district students, families, and staff members. We must be accountable to our communities.
Our current funding formula is outdated and does not meet the needs of our district, students, staff members, or communities. I prefer the state (DDOE) take the lead in identifying a more equitable funding system, but the eventual outcome must include a major funding "change". I believe the settlement is a good starting place, but we must do more for our children to ensure their futures are bright and successful.

I have examined the TX funding formula that is based on the Average Daily Attendance, and it has some strong components that support efforts to increase student attendance and graduation rates. The lawsuit should increase funding for low-income communities, but we need a funding system that ensures appropriate funding for all our students and schools. I support a "Needs Based Funding Formula".
Residence (neighborhood/area): Bear, Delaware
Campaign Phone: (302) 324-0144
Related affiliations and roles: Computer Science Teachers Association- Member International Technology and Engineering Educators Association- Member National Association of Women Business Owners- Member
Are you currently a school board member? (Y/N) No
How many school board meetings did you attend last year? 10
Brief background bio (a single paragraph): A proud mother of one with community involvements that will allow me to have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
Leadership must be dedicated to equity and inclusion for students, staff, and families. New or updated polices and procedures must be done to ensure that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, socio-economic status, or disability are offered opportunities to succeed in a welcoming and equitable environment.
A educator with a passion of working with students, along with a leadership and management background. My experiences and skills will add an objective and reasonable voice to the school board.
The school board's role should ensure teachers and staff are vaccinated. There are numerous safety plans to implement when schools are reopening such as curriculum, Special Education, behavioral health/emotional support, cleaning and disinfecting, classroom routines, meals, hallways, outside activities and buses.
No, for many years disparities and inequities has plagued the Christina school district without being sufficiently addressed or resolved. Families have concerns from school privatization, teacher pay, student civil right, special education, mental health, digital inequity (internet connection and appropriate device) and school safety.
School board members have the power to speak up and become advocates for our children's educational journey. Understanding the existence and future protocol which affect students, staff, communities, municipal budgets and property taxes.
The latest statistics show that English language learners, students with disabilities, and low-income students need additional support from districts and schools to reach proficiency. Ongoing discussions are needed regarding the Opportunity Funding initiative to address the need of equity in education.