Lead By Example
Children are our greatest natural resource, and they are our future. Our K-12 education is designed to prepare students for the future. Children starting school in 2020 will be retiring sometime around 2080. No one has a clue what the world will look like in 2080, let alone 2025, and yet we are tasked with educating children to lead a world that isn’t even imaginable. That is an immense responsibility and one that I take very seriously.
Our educators must be afforded the tools, training and support they need. They are the front lines, and like health care workers, they are essential workers. We need to treat them as professionals and experts, not as expendable labor.
The pandemic has had many horrible casualties, and one of them has been the impact on our students, teachers and parents who had their end-of-year experiences, expectations and traditions abruptly removed. It was stressful, disruptive and for some, economically debilitating. However, one benefit has been for us to re-examine and revolutionize the way we educate. The distance learning forced upon us at the end of last school year was a tragedy, both to our students who lost so much of tradition, friends and structure-–and to the parents who realized the importance of an education system.
There were some benefits: students learned to adapt, and teachers indicated they became better teachers because they saw their students and the material from a different perspective. It challenged what we take for granted and forced everyone to adapt on the fly. Concurrently, we experienced a tremendous and overdue eruption of protests throughout our nation to the long anguish suffered by those of color. We are all challenged to see everything from a different lens.
One thing is certain: We can no longer support the status quo. We need leaders who ask questions and challenge the status quo, and who get into the weeds when necessary. Our educators are constantly asked to do more with less within the same framework, a framework that was already stressed and stretched with the onset of distance and hybrid learning. Now that we are in a self-induced financial situation, exacerbated by the economic impact of a pandemic, we need to become creative, and not just reform, but replace many of the ways we are running our schools. We need to invite educators, business leaders, innovators, students and parents to the table to change the framework.
In education, there is no time to rest on laurels. We need diversity of background, experience and environment on our school boards and in our schools, and we need those who are not afraid of change or challenge. If we want our students to be creative and our schools to be inclusive to prepare for a future that we can’t even imagine, then we need to lead by example.
I will continue put in the work, the hours and the dedication to make our district the best it can be by leading by example.
I AM HUMBLED AND GRATEFUL FOR ALL THOSE WHO SUPPORTED ME IN THIS ELECTION. I AM HONORED TO SERVE OUR DISTRICT FOR ANOTHER 4 YEARS!!