The school board represents the public s voice in public education, providing oversight for what the public schools need and what the community wants. Duties include employing and evaluating a director of schools; teacher tenure decisions; preparing and approving a budget to present to the Metro Council, and establishing standards and policies governing student attendance and behavior.A school board member must be at least 25 years old, a resident of Davidson County, TN for at least 5 years, a district resident for at least 1 year, and a qualified registered voter. Additionally, candidates shall hold no other elective or appointive public office. Terms are four years, with alternating election of odd and even district representatives every two years.
I believe my 25+ years of professional, personal and community experience in education on the national, state, and local levels uniquely places me in position to understand, guide and address the array of concerns and challenges our families, students and staff are facing in Metro Schools. I am also concerned about the way in which the public discourse about education has become so polarizing and the effects current policy decisions will have on MNPS ability to adequately and equitable improve academic outcomes for students across MNPS. I am a leader who understands this, and can work collaboratively with other School Boards members and the Director of Schools to advocate, support and address issues in District 4, and across our MNPS.
The most pressing issues expressed in MNPS Parent Advisory Council meetings, campaign listening sessions I've hosted, and talking with families, students and staff in the community has been the need for the School Board and the Director of Schools to address staffing shortages among teachers and support staff, the social-emotional and mental health supports for students and staff, addressing learning loss, as well as, improving communications between parents, schools and district level staff.
My top priority is to work w/state & local officials to ensure MNPS is fully funded so we can:
1- Invest in our teachers and support staff by supporting pay increases, addressing staffing shortages and retention. provide more sustainable work conditions, and continuous professional development.
2- Support the social, emotional and mental well-being of students and staff by advocating for more advocacy centers, nurses, mental health counselors, and restorative practice professionals.
3- Address learning loss, learning gaps and improving academic outcomes by prioritizing early literacy proficiency, expanding access to high dosage tutoring and individualized support for students.
4- Creating stronger family-school partnerships.
I believe that I am the best candidate for this office because many of the current school board are out of touch with the opinions and needs of parents. I stand for what parents have been calling for: banning unscientific mask mandates that have made learning difficult, especially for those with special needs, an end to political indoctrination in the classroom - especially Critical Race Theory, and finally, focusing on improving grades and standards - rather than the interests of big money and political groups that fund many on the board. Above all, the school board must accept that parents are the boss - and know what is best for their children. As a mother of three, I will fight for our children and their best interests.
Better grades and student success are a priority for parents. The current board of politicians and "experts" have gotten us to the state our schools are in today - despite the hard work of teachers and our children. As a result, nobody should be proud of the fact that under 30% of students are at grade level in key areas. We must focus on the basics - getting grades up so that children can compete in the workforce and thrive in their chosen vocation or profession. Nothing is more important. More funding and support are needed - but while the board lets waste highlighted in the media such as $14m spent on contracts for Covid "consultants" pass without asking questions, they undermine our case for funds. Actions speak louder than words.
Developing channels of communication to inform and involve parents. If elected, my top priority will be what parents have been highlighting to the board for years - to listen to parents and respond to their needs. Until that is done, big money and political interests will corrupt and corrode so much of the good work that is going on in the classroom. Our leadership must re-prioritize efforts so that Math, Science, English and Technology attainment come first. Vocational subjects should also be boosted so that more children can pursue their passions in sorely needed trades. Until the School Board practices what they preach by focusing on parent needs - rather than political needs - they are all talk and no delivery.