News and Observer Wake County Board of Education - District 9 Survey
Thank you for completing our candidate questionnaire. Your answers will be published in our voter guide and may be lightly edited for spelling and grammar. Our goal is to help voters understand candidates' views on important policy issues.
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WCPSS Special Education Instructional Assistant
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Meredith College
Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought) *
Please list highlights of your civic involvement: *
As an experienced social worker and educator, I have steadfastly advocated for families and children in a variety of roles. My approach and priorities in all of my roles, from social worker and community member to a WCPSS Special Education Instructional Assistant, have been consistent: Each child deserves fair treatment, have his/her voice heard, and be presented the opportunities to reach full potential.
The Wake County school system has long been known for trying to keep schools integrated. Is that a goal still worth pursuing, and how would you try to achieve it as a board member? *
I support integrated schools and classrooms. Our goal as a school system should be ensuring students, regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, receive a sound education and provide the support needed to help maximize their academic performance. More now than ever, our school system must provide the necessary resources to students for their learning and academic growth. While students are unable to attend school physically, it becomes imperative to have the proper training and resources to keep students engaged. Our current school board has placed the education of our students as a secondary objective. As a WCPSS School Board member, I will place the education of each student as the priority in decisions and policies.
An increasing number of families in Wake County are opting to not send their children to the school system. What, if anything, would you try to do to reverse that trend? *
WCPSS must offer the necessary resources to ensure the quality of education continues in today’s “new normal”. Many families have trepidation in allowing their children to return to school building which is understandable. Through improved collaboration and communication, I will ensure the worries and concerns of families are addressed. Parents need to be part of the solution. If families choose to leave the system, WCPSS should use exit interviews to understand the factors that led them to seek different options. With this feedback, we can identify common threads and implement changes to encourage more families to stay.
The coronavirus pandemic has been called an unprecedented situation. But what do you think of the Wake County school system's response, and how can the district be better prepared in the future? *
As the largest school system in North Carolina, the absence of a long-term emergency plan and clear communication was alarming. While this is an unprecedented situation, WCPSS must have a plan to mitigate the impact on education and on the operation of the system. Even though the State Board of Education's decision to eliminate student accountability impacted timelines, WCPSS did not readily make available the tools and resources required to ensure the students continued to learn. Being proactive and listening to concerns raised by families and staff about the previous semester, will help WCPSS be better prepared. Additionally, providing school staff effective professional development, setting clear expectations, and giving them the support they need in this “new normal” is crucial. As defined in my platform, I will listen, learn, and lead to represent the needs of all students, families, and staff members.