Why do you want to be on the Board of Education?
We need to engage, challenge and inspire every child in our district. By helping every child thrive, we will create the kind of rich and vital educational environment we aspire to have in our two towns. Our Board has led our district in making changes over the last six years that have improved our educational program, but we have a long way yet to go. I would like to serve a second term to keep us moving forward.
What school-related issues are important to you as a resident?
I recognize the importance of maintaining high quality schools and at the same time limiting the tax burden. Of particular concern to me are costs that continue to rise faster than revenues. I also spend a lot of time thinking about what’s necessary to successfully implement the Common Core State Standards and prepare for the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers) assessment scheduled to start in spring 2015. Finally, I want to make sure that we effectively implement the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in our middle schools because that will have a tremendous positive impact on our students.
What makes you qualified for this position?
I have twenty-four years’ experience as an education attorney, serving the needs of economically disadvantaged children and children with disabilities. I have seen close up how any child, given the right resources and caring, effective instruction, can flourish and ultimately excel. I have also developed a deep understanding of the challenges that schools and parents face in meeting the needs of all kids and experience in helping families overcome those challenges.
What issues do you plan to tackle if elected?
The school budget will continue to be a major concern. We must adopt a budget that limits taxpayer burden while continuing to meet District priorities. We will also have to assess the first year of implementation of IB to decide if any changes are needed. We will need to make sure our teachers have the training and resources needed to fully implement the Common Core and that our schools have the technology needed to administer the computer-based PARCC. And, we will need to adopt the first phase of our new long-range capital plan, which will include the decision of whether or not to build a new pool at Columbia High School.
Why should residents vote for you?
I have been deeply involved in efforts to improve public education my entire adult life. I believe it is important that we engage, challenge and inspire every child in our school district. As a Board member, I have helped lead our district toward realizing this goal. As evident in our steadily rising test scores, and in improvements that parents see with their own eyes, we are headed in the right direction. I would like another term on the Board to be sure that our school district stays on course to realize its full potential.