Retired School Psychologist
Ed.S., University of Nebraska - Kearney
Current Public Office, dates held
Columbus Public Schools Board of Education (2008 - 2020)
TeamMates, Centro Hispano De Communitaro, Citizen's Advocacy
3761 30th Avenue
Columbus, NE 68601
I believe most schools have dealt responsibly with school safety in terms of physical preparedness with the presence of SRO's or improved police relationships. In addition, schools have improved their safety through technical measures (i.e., cameras and limited access to building during the school day). In my opinion, schools can provide better safety measure for students and staff through increased knowledge and awareness of mental health issues as well as easier access to mental health services.
The State Board of Education should be an elected body. The State BOE must be allowed to function as a nonpartisan entity. The main function of the State BOE should be an equitable and quality education for all Nebraska children.
Teachers are the backbone of a strong and viable learning experience for our children. I believe teachers should be in control of their professional learning experience. Personally, I strongly believe that well designed Professional Learning Communities with administrative support can lead to meaningful learning experiences for educators which improve student performance in the classroom.
Retired Teacher Education and Educational Psychology Professor and College Administrator
Ph.D. University of Nebraska, Lincoln Program: Educational Psychology-
Cognition and Learning
M.S.E. Wayne State College
B.S. Wayne State College
Program: Sociology, Psychology
Current Public Office, dates held
Norfolk Public Schools Board of Education Member
Past Public Office, dates held
Team Mates Mentor, Red Cross Pillowcase Project Presenter, Norfolk Arts Center Board Member and Officer
1403 Charolais Drive
Norfolk, NE 68701
There are a number of important measures that can be taken to help students and teachers be as safe as possible. First, schools need to have a comprehensive safety plan and procedures. Second, teachers and staff members benefit from being trained on safety procedures and learning how to use available safety tools that might prevent or mitigate crisis situations. It is beneficial for students to participate in safety drills. Third, there needs to be consistent communication and coordination with community agencies involved in crisis situations. Fourth, secure entrances for school facilities are an important safety/security measure. Finally, school resources officers provide an additional layer of school security through the positive relationships they develop with individual students and the expertise they have as law enforcement officers.
I believe members of the Nebraska State Board of Education need to be non-partisan officials elected by the voters in their districts. The state board provides oversight of education in Nebraska so it is important that the board represents the diverse educational systems found across our state. Elected state school board members are likely to reflect the educational values of the communities they serve. When state school board members are elected, they are accountable to the citizens who elect them. The citizens who elect them maintain some sense of local control of education.
If state school board members are appointed by the governor, the sense of local control is minimized. The potential exists for all of the appointed members to share the same political beliefs and educational perspectives. Appointed officials are not accountable to citizens, they are accountable to the politician who appointed them.
Continuing education of teachers can be supported in a variety of ways. The most important way to support continuing education of teachers is to promote a mindset that "teaching is learning". School districts promote that mindset by providing appropriate ongoing learning experiences for teachers and by expressing appreciation for continued learning. The State Board of Education can support continuing education of teachers by establishing policies that enable, encourage, and expect teachers to grow professionally.
Professional development experiences such as mentoring programs for novice teachers, teacher-to-teacher collaborations with peer assessments, and teacher supervision that focuses on improvement are a few examples of ways continuing learning can be supported.