I believe in public schools. They offer the best chance for all students, no matter who they are or where they come from, to have a successful future.
I am running for CC School Board, Dist. 3. I have worked with families and students of all ages/backgrounds during 40 years of public service through the Dept. of Social Services, Headstart, Mental Health Services, and public schools. I was an elementary teacher for 30 years and worked with GED students at the community college. I believe that my professional experience and my integrity are valuable assets for the school board. I understand the importance of a good, equitable education system.
As an advocate for students and the public school system, a school board member can help implement policies and set goals that encourage student learning and retention of teachers while keeping communication with the community open and transparent.
I would listen to teachers to hear first-hand about what motivates them each day. I would ask about the frustrations they take home each night. Visiting schools and classrooms can give clues as to whether teachers are working in a positive school culture or not. What is the attrition rate? Review the State Teacher Working Conditions Survey. A needs assessment from teachers as well as using student achievement data could help determine what is needed to promote learning and teacher satisfaction.
Carteret County data show there is an issue in recruiting teachers, counselors, asst. principals/principals of color. They are underrepresented. We need to vigorously recruit candidates from historically black colleges, with teachers/community leaders of color helping to recruit. Needed for recruitment/retention of all qualified teachers: increased teacher supplement to match surrounding districts; affordable housing; professional learning opportunities; mentors /support groups for new teachers.
Safe, healthy schools are a priority and need PPE and other safety measures. Nurses and mental health support services are essential. If students are homebound due to Covid 19 they will need school lunches delivered and internet devices with connectivity to access lessons. Teachers will need technical support and training for distance teaching . The child nutrition program is critical year round. Exceptional children’s programs, MaST high school, and instructional programs for all need funding.
As a pastor and Army Chaplain my life has been one of service. My desire is to continue to serve our schools and students.
By God's grace I have been fortunate as a pastor of churches up to 2,300 members and having achieved the rank of Colonel as a member of the military. I research and then make decisions that I feel are for the greatest good. I have served and chaired on boards and committees of the general church and the communities where we have lived. My wife is a retired teacher who has educated me on the benefits of a strong school system. I am a good listener and will do all I can to be fair to all.
To be an equal voice to our educators, our students, our parents and our community. Members of the school board represent this wide constituency equally and are accountable to each one. One of our goals is to see the biggest picture possible.
Honest teacher satisfaction is probably best known in the teacher's lounge and with meaningful relationships of trust with the teachers themselves. The current challenging environment caused by the coronovirus should be making our educators desire the best tools available in order to impart a quality education to our students. I would encourage professional development on giving our teachers the time to develop themselves and creating schools where excellence is expected and encouraged.
We want the best and the brightest to be leading our students in their educational journey. Teachers today face many challenges today: wages, classroom discipline, the mental health of our students, family dynamics, social barriers and feeling appreciated. Great teachers who are valued in our communities are our best recruiters. Our young adults want to make a difference and the classroom is one of the best ways I know to do this. We retain good teachers by valuing them in all they do.
One critical need is the mental/emotional health of our students and educators. We need more mental health professionals in every school to develop systems that will assist the entire school. We need the state to make a commitment to help us fund MAST. We need the state to fund a sufficient number of teachers where we can lower our teacher/student ratios. We address these and other needs through lobbying and building relationships with those who will make these key decisions.