I have lived in the Maize community since 2009 and have sent children to Pray-Woodman, Vermillion, Maize South Middle School, and Maize High School. I have been teaching high school since 2005, and I see the challenges faced by our families every day. I cherish the relationships I have with the students in my classroom, and I am ready to help even more students by supporting strong public education for every child.
MA in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages from Newman University;
BA in English with a concentration in secondary teaching from Metropolitan State College of Denver
What do you see as the biggest successes in the Public Schools and what areas do you see could use some study and/ or changes?
One of the biggest successes in our public schools is a growing awareness of the diversity of our students and a willingness to have difficult conversations about why some students are not succeeding. One change that I think that needs to happen is differentiation of professional development so that we are utilizing the talents of our veteran teachers.
A lot of schools district have not been= able to recruit enough teachers to fill all positions with certified teachers.. Last year the Wichita district had to start the school year with 80 positions filled by long term substitutes . What do you think can be done to perhaps help solve this problem?
Many people are leaving education due to an increasing work load and a lack of professional respect. It is hard to recruit new teachers when they hear about school funding challenges and teachers’ unions are portrayed as the enemy. Recruitment is just part of the problem; teachers in many districts just do not feel valued. Giving teachers more control over their professional development is just one way that districts could show respect for the professionalism of educators.
What strengths do you think you bring that will make you a useful member of the on the Board of Education?
I have dedicated my entire adult life to helping young people as a teacher and as a parent. As an educator, I have worked to have an impact that goes beyond my classroom. For example, I examine how curriculum impacts students systematically, mentor new teachers, and stay informed of legislative policies that affect education.
What is your view about Kansas state revenue funding going to support tuition to non-Public schools if a family chooses to send their student there?
Public funding should go to public education. I do not support any state revenue going to support non-public schools as I believe that will further erode resources for our special education students and students in poverty. Communities should be encouraged to strengthen their public schools when they are unhappy, not abandon them.
What is your opinion of the Ks Supreme Court’s ruling on the Gannon case about adequate and equitable funding for Kansas Public Schools?
I agree with Supreme Court’s ruling and I think it is disgraceful that it took so many years for the unconstitutional funding to be rectified.
What ideas would you like to have the Board explore to enhance the schools in this district if you are elected?
I am really proud of the Green initiatives at Maize High School, and I would like to see if these programs could be expanded to Maize South High and even the middle schools. I would also like to fully fund the robotics program and have an art teacher in every elementary school.
What do you think the school district should add or take away from its policies or practices.
The school district is going to add mental health services through a pilot program, and we need to make sure that we have practices that will make the best use of these resources. I also think we can do a better job including educational support professionals in professional development.