I received my Masters and Bachelors in Education from Eastern Michigan University. I received my Educational Specialist and Administration degrees from Wayne State University. I served as an elementary teacher for 20 years and a principal for 11 years in Farmington Public Schools before retiring in June 2017. In addition, all five of my children attended FPS. I have navigated both the general education and special education curriculum as a parent. I am currently supervising student teachers at Eastern Michigan University. Teaching and learning is my passion. I am committed to ensuring that ALL students receive a quality education that prepares them to be successful. I am running for FPS School Board to be an advocate of our students, using my extensive knowledge of curriculum & instruction to ensure our students and teachers receive the resources they need and are empowered to achieve greatness.
The first priority area facing FPS is equity. In regards to academic performance, using my background in education, I will ask relevant questions regarding the discrepancies between specific populations and delve into strategies, best practices and research based programs that would aggressively address these areas. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results. As a district, we must ensure that each student has the support they need to thrive both emotionally and academically. The second priority is communication and transparency. After reviewing the current policies and procedures, I would make suggestions for improvement in the appropriate areas including safety and security, academic performance and curriculum. I would advocate for timely communication to address trust issues. The third area is transition. As we merge three high schools into two and the possibility of a new superintendent, we need to be mindful of all aspects of this transition. Having previously led similar transitions, I will use my knowledge to ensure a successful transitional outcome.
• Married to his college sweetheart for more than 20 years
• Moved to Farmington Hills in 2011 because of the schools’ strong reputation
• Three kids with one each starting kindergarten, middle, and high school next year
• Active volunteer, Math Pentathlon coach, Hillside Proud Dads Club chair
• 20+ years teaching and research experience in Higher Ed
• Joined Wayne State as a tenured professor in the political science department
• Active in faculty governance in matters related to improving Wayne’s graduation rate
• Just elected by his peers to another term on Academic Senate
• Winner of multiple mid-career awards, including a distinguished alumni award from William & Mary
I am running is to ensure the school board is filled with qualified people strongly committed to making decisions based on what is best for children, teachers, and the community. If elected, I will apply my skills as a social scientist and consensus-seeking problem solver to recommend best practices and find middle ground solutions to challenges facing FPS.
• Close achievement gaps: Giving every child a fair shot at life-long success is a core principle of public education. Unfortunately, achievement gaps are a nationwide problem to which Farmington is not immune. Research shows early childhood education is key. FPS should increase the number of free Pre-K seats available through federal- and state-funded Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs.
• Increase transparency and accountability: FPS should lead the way in developing tools to communicate clearly to families, teachers, and the community our strengths, weaknesses, and where investment and intervention is needed. The district should create an annual State of the Schools report that provides data on student outcomes by school and demographic, the allocation of resources (e.g., student-teacher ratios), and improvement plans.
• Improve teacher morale: Teachers must be treated honestly and respectfully at the bargaining table. We must look for win-win solutions, like a more generous cash-in-lieu of benefits incentive, with savings shared between teachers and the district.
DID NOT RESPOND IN TIME FOR INCLUSION
DID NOT RESPOND IN TIME FOR INCLUSION
My first political experience was at six years old. I was standing outside my elementary school on election day, handing out literature, saying, "Please save my school and vote for the school bond." I managed my first campaign at 16, for a seat on this school board. I got my Bachelor's degree in public affairs and international studies and my Master's in public administration – both from Wayne State. While there, I served for two years on the General Education Oversight Committee, which decided the shared requirements for all undergrads at the university. I also assisted in crafting the billion-dollar budget for the entire university. I coached debate for students at Detroit School of Arts and Cass Tech.
I currently work as the Assistant Township Manager for Royal Oak Township. I have worked as a deputy treasurer for our county, keeping people in their homes, bringing money into the tax rolls, and encouraging increased financial literacy of high school students. Every experience and opportunity I have been afforded are due to the education and services of our school district.
I am running with a focus on equitable education, empowering excellence, and safety. Equitable education means providing the high-quality education and resources this district is able; no matter the school they attend, the language they first learned, nor the tax bracket of their family. Empowering excellence is a focus on helping our students and staff be all that they can be. This includes making sure our teachers have the resources to help them succeed, that our students have opportunities to grow, and that there are media specialists and counselors in every school. Safety means different things to different people. I believe that if our students do not feel safe in school, they will not be able to learn. There is a low-cost way to create 3D maps of all school buildings so that, in the event of an emergency, an officer can be told by dispatch what to expect in any given situation. Finally, this means making sure that our children are protected no matter their race, religion, cultural heritage, sex, gender, or orientation.