Priorities: Time for change

I believe in public education of the utmost quality for all current and future students. With children as the ultimate focus, I plan on putting my efforts into:

Academic excellence

Academic excellence is more than taking AP classes and earning high grades; It means helping to develop an individuals' capacities and skills to their fullest potential. I am confident that our teachers and students can achieve this.

We understandably decreased standards during COVID, and it is time to return to pre-COVID expectations. Pass fail grading must end. It gives the impression that students only need to do the bare minimum to pass. It eliminates accountability. It also reduces the incentives to work harder to achieve something better. Student success is directly related to the expectations set forth from parents and teachers. It is also vague that the student has no clear direction or understanding of where s/he stands academically.

Curriculum transparency needs to happen.

Exploring alternative learning paths for students

The demand for skilled labor has never been higher. Unfortunately, there is a stigma so strong today that young people don't associate high pay and job security with trade schools. However, unlike a bachelor's degree, an education in the trades school is far more likely to yield a job due to the need for specialized skills that affect all areas of our lives. Foods, roads, plumbing, energy, construction, vehicles, and more --all the necessities of life that tradesman make possible.

As trade industries continue to expand, while available skilled labor decline, it is essential to promote trade schools as an equally viable, well-paying career path.

I will therefore raise awareness of the alternative education pathways offered in Michigan and throughout the country.

Support district teachers and staff

To provide our children with an excellent education, we must first begin with supporting our teachers. We have many highly qualified teachers throughout the district, but what we don't have is an environment conducive to retaining and attracting them here. Supporting our teachers is a necessity when providing our students a strong education and a nurturing environment.

Reallocation of funding for teachers, additional aides, and support from the administration are great places to start.

They are forced to pay from their own pockets! -- for the supplies need to teach. This is simply unacceptable. Reallocating funds to teachers is the right place to start.

Teachers and staff should also feel like they can air their concerns about school-related issues but the current climate is tense and stifles free speech. Teachers and staff don't feel supported by the administration. When I become a board member, I will set aside time each month for for teachers to speak freely about issues without fear of retribution.

Teachers and support staff deserve to earn a salary commensurate with their education, classroom performance, and experience. Higher pay not only incentivizes and retains top-quality teachers, but also reflects the essential role they have in society -- shaping a generation of Americans. One idea is to institute a classroom-student performance model to encourage and celebrate alternative teaching methods that work and retire the ones that do not.

Retention incentives ~ Providing needed resources ~ Increase parental involvement with volunteerism

Remove distractions from learning

  • A safe and secure learning environment with resource officers

  • Zero tolerance for bullying

  • Safety from external threat

  • Zero tolerance for vaping, smoking, and doing drugs of any kind

  • Enforce existing cell phone policies

Zero tolerance: My view: "Enforcing a set rule/policy."

Enforcing rules using a single mandatory remedy will never have success. Instead, we must consider the value of the schools, view the policies set in place, and then determine the consequence. Finally, we must choose the best solution to remedy the specific problem at hand.

Zero tolerance identifies aberrant behaviors detrimental to our children's mental health and ability to succeed and learn—primarily bullying, drug use, and external threats. We need a comprehensive approach that includes parents, teachers, administration, and trained specialists to work with the child and school to remedy the specific problem.

At the beginning of the school year, all students and parents must know clear expectations of these policies, and the school should present detailed action plans. The number of (not personal information) encounters, and interventions must be made available to the public so that students, the community, and parents are apprised of this information. CSD should monitor all interventions for success or failure; doing so will allow for adjustments and improvements. Properly educating students about the detrimental effects of drug use on their development and learning and teaching healthy life choices is essential.

Bullying is unacceptable and must be identified immediately and called out every time. Proper communication methods are to be followed and reinforced. In addition, those bullied must be supported and protected. Finally, there should be an algorithm in place, based on evidence, that the school should follow if there are repeat offenses.

Provide a liberal arts education based in facts and freedom of speech

Our children should learn how to think, not what to think! -Margaret Mead

I believe in the teaching approach of fundamental learning. A curriculum that focuses on reading comprehension, writing, arithmetic, English, penmanship, and financial literacy is essential for preparing students for life.

Classrooms are where students can participate in open discussions even -- or I should say especially -- when the topics are controversial. A teacher’s job is to provide students with the proper and full context, relevant facts, and evidence, if any, about a given topic so that the students can make their own, informed decisions.

Especially when it comes to politics, teacher's own views must never get in the way of candid and open discussions in the classroom. Teachers need to treat opposing views with respect and they should limit their comments to what falls directly under their area of expertise. A teacher should play devil's advocate in all discussions.

Fiscal stewardship

  • Ethical and responsible decision making

  • Efficient budget and allocation

  • Student and staff retention

  • Ensure public school funds are spent in the classroom and not on non-instructional overhead.