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ESU Unit 3, Dist 4

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    Mary Scarborough

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    John Witzel

Biographical Information

What is the most important need, either financially or otherwise, facing school districts today, and how will you work to address it?

Given the current pandemic, what role do you believe the ESU plays in ensuring students are afforded equal access to quality education?

If elected, what new partnerships would you encourage to ensure your ESU district has adequate resources in the areas of professional development, special education, etc.?

Occupation Currently I work with the Teacher Education Program at UNO. I retired from PLCS after 37 years.
Education 1. BS in Education (Elementary and Secondary Spanish) (Wayne State) 2. MA in Curriculum/Instruction (Doane) 3. MA in Educational Leadership (Doane)
Current Public Office, dates held School Board Member for ESU #3 July 2014 to present.
Past Public Office, dates held None
Address 10235 Josephine Ave. La Vista, NE 68128
Marital Status Married
Age 64
Military experience None
Volunteer experience • Strategic Planning Team Member for PLCS • Accreditation Team Member for Millard, Bellevue, Louisville, and North Platte Public Schools. • ‘Odyssey of the Mind’ local and regional judge • CCD Teacher at St. Columbkille Church • Reeder Elem Volunteer
The most important need for school districts today is ensuring students receive a quality year of education--especially in this time of global pandemic. As a member of the ESU#3 school board, we support 18 of the surrounding districts that make up the Omaha Metro area. Services such as securing PPE equipment, supporting districts with the technology pieces of remote learning, facilitating co-op ordering of materials to save taxpayer dollars, and providing on-going professional development services to teachers, coaches, and administrators. These are just a few of the ways we serve our ESU #3 community of school districts.
During this time of global pandemic, it is imperative that school districts receive outside support (as can be provided by our ESU #3 Service Unit), especially with the effective use of technology to ensure all students can receive the same quality services whether they are in face to face learning, a hybrid model of learning, or total remote learning situations. Our technology team has worked tirelessly to help districts make required changes needed, as well as troubleshoot when issues arise, so schools can be up and running remotely at a moments notice. Our professional development team at ESU #3 also is supporting districts with best practices for on-line learning as well as 'in school' practices that move all students and staff forward in the educational journey.
I feel strongly that ESU #3 can provide future services and resources to support the early child. Much current research points to the fact that intervening early in a child's life can make a huge difference with their long term success as an individual learner and member of society. We need to support these early learners through educating parents, preschool/daycare programs, and providing them with tools and resources to ensure they provide the quality experiences needed to grow and thrive in learning. Working with such entities to support language development and reading readiness skills is critical so as children approach formal school age, they are prepared and ready for the next level. This critical window of time with early childhood learners also includes providing support and education for the social and emotional areas as well.
Occupation Retired Air Force (1974-1996) Author and Publisher of books
Education BS Louisiana Tech U. MA Ball State U. BTS Bellevue U. Spanish Language Institute, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Current Public Office, dates held Nebraska State Board of Education 2014-2020
Past Public Office, dates held Educational Service Unit Board Member (2000-2013)
Address 905 Edgewood Blvd Papillion, NE 68046
Marital Status Single
Age 68
Military experience U.S. Air Force (retired) Numerous overseas deployments
Volunteer experience YMCA Board Member and Volunteer Loin's Club Papillion La Vista Public Schools GED Study Programs La Vista
With the intense sudden challenges facing our schools, i.e., Covid 19, distance learning, flooding, increasing demand and need for behavioral mental health services, ESU3 will continue to stand "side-by-side" with our 18 member school districts to ensure continuity of efforts--ensuring the schools receive equal access to the additional resources needed to for various critical taskings. Many ad hoc and mandated by the State and Federal Governments. The immediate priority is having our students engaged in learning. ESU3, besides providing the necessary resources and expertise, will continue to provide technical support for the challenges of distance learning with workshops, professional development for teachers, most important of all--broadband support.

Support State's Launch Nebraska--tools, actions, opportunities, and resources to support the complex planning and preparation needed by the Nebraska School Systems as they work to restart schools.
Equity requires opportunities and outcomes exist for ALL Nebraskan students. ESU3 is in the most opportune position to ensure all 18 member school districts have the tools, resources, and expertise to ensure EQUITY.

I assisted in authoring the State's "Agents of Change for Equity Playbook." By addressing our most critical issues now, ESU3 will assist schools in implementing plans ensuring equitable access to: - Rigorous and engaging educational opportunities - Effective educators - Quality instructional materials - Community Support and Partnerships - Active and involved education leaders

Specifically, as we move forward with our ever-growing challenges for our young people, ESU3 will continue to take the lead in drafting protocols for distance learning and increase efforts for increased access to broadband--critical. Expand community outreach programs assisting families in providing a first-class education for ALL students.
External and internal stakeholder engagement is critical to ESU3 with all the various communities it supports.

First, I would form a stakeholder/partnership committee identifying the various outside agencies we work with to include Special Education and County Behavioral/Mental Health Services. Increase participation with Boy's Town Hotline, Project Harmony, and the various county health departments insuring students needs and safety are recognized by ESU3 and reported to the appropriate authorities for resolution. Most important is the continued coordination with the administrators of the 18 member districts regarding their particular needs and requirements. Critical for ESU maintain contacts with the Nebraska Association of School Boards, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and ALL local school boards of the 18 member districts.