All public schools need to be strong so that ALL students have an opportunity to become life long learners and achieve their goals and dreams!
As an experienced, effective and successful public school teacher, coach, assistant principal, high school principal and university instructor I have the experience that is needed on our school board. Having been a well-liked, successful high school principal I understand the needs of our district. I also have administrative experience Pre-K -12 grade. Experienced educators need to be on school boards because educators understand education and also understand how to increase student achievement.
The most important responsibility of any school board member is fiscal responsibility and making positive decisions that ensure that all students can learn and become productive members of their community.
Funding is always an issue especially for rural school districts like Elizabeth City Pasquotank Public Schools. Our funding needs are technology concerns, aging school buildings, textbooks needs, exceptional education, etc. As a board member I will work closely with local and state elected officials to ensure that our financial needs are met and or exceeded.
As principal I had very low teacher turnover! That means we worked well as a "family" and there was no reason for faculty and staff to leave. Unfortunately for the last three years we have lost many students and teachers to surrounding school districts and this is an area that must be addressed.
On-going, research based and relevant professional development is important for teacher improvement and student achievement that result in engaging lesson. Students learn best and enjoy school with lesson that are engaging for all students!
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Parents, teachers and the community must all work together to ensure all children are ready for school with age appropriate learning techniques. Reading to children everyday is very important for the early progress of each child.
Quality leadership! Teachers want to make sure that there needs are taking care of so that they have what they need to teach and that they are thought of and cherished as professionals! Teachers will work hard if they know leadership cares about them. Take care of your teachers and your teachers will take care of everything else!
I believe all children can learn when provided with a high achieving educational environment.
I bring over 45 years of administrative experience from early childhood development to higher education. I have served on multiple local, state, and national educational organizations and boards, including 7 years on the ECPPS BOE. Utilizing a collaborative leadership style to ensure all voices are heard has helped me to support and create strategic outcomes. I have been and remain dedicated to public education and the ECPPS vision to prepare all learners to be productive, competitive, and successful citizens.
The primary responsibility of a school board member is to hire an excellent Superintendent, be and excellent steward of district finances, and through the governing process work with the Superintendent and our community to establish priorities that support the consistent improvement of student achievement and growth. It is also important to both appreciate and understand that each school within the district has unique needs and sometimes require creative solutions supported by the data.
Prior to COVID-19, the critical state funding needs were increased pay for system employees, increased teaching staff in high academic need areas, increased utilization of technology for teachers and students, additional extra-curricular educational opportunities for students, improvements on the system's physical plant, and professional development opportunities for all ECPPS employees. However, now, during the pandemic the top priorities are first safety for our students, staff, and families. All the other priorities listed above come after safety.
We would address the identified needs by working with the coalition of NC School Boards to work with our State Legislators. In addition, the BOE would continue to work more closely with our County Commissioners, to increase their level of financial support for public education.
I would continue to utilize the results from the annual teacher satisfaction survey, direct input from teachers and administrators, results from the annual parent satisfaction survey, direct input from parents/guardians, direct feedback from students, and the recommendations of the Superintendent and her leadership team. Following this process, in conjunction with the other members on the BOE, I would assess the recommendations against leading practices and work to promote a strong professional development effort.
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Our human brain grows at an exponential rate before we turn 6 years old. Pre-K helps to strengthen social and emotional development and builds self-confidence in children. It provides a critical foundation to familiarize children to the school environment while supporting physical development and opportunities to learn through play and exploration.
The primary issues in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers are ensuring a positive work environment, meaningful teacher professional development opportunities, and competitive pay and stipend standards. It is proven again and again, that strong retention attracts strong teacher candidates. As part of the ECPPS strategic plan, the Board tracks the hiring and retention program outcomes to ensure improvements are being made.
Children thrive when we Bridge the Gap through the collaborative efforts among school personnel, caregiver, and the community!
Being a Pastor in the county and a parent of a child in the ECPPS School System, I have a vested interest in the success of our schools. I work hand and hand with the youth, community, and with several educators. I hear the concerns from all sides. I believe my ability to communicate and reason with people will be a huge asset for me in this position.
I think the most important responsibility of a school board member is to listen to all stakeholders including the school personnel at every level and then make decisions that best benefit all parties involved. The school board should be open and transparent with school personnel, caregiver, and the community. The School Board should operate without any personal agendas.
The critical state funding need for ECPPS is the lack of teacher and staff pay and additional support funding. The average NC teacher salary is well below the national average. Funding for additional teacher assistants for grades K-3 is needed. I believe funding for alternative programs designed for children who are not identified with special needs, but would benefit from additional support to beyond the regular classroom setting.
One way of assessing teacher satisfaction is talking with them! Bridge the Gap of communication between the teachers and administration. Send periodic surveys to teachers allowing them to give their feedback without fear of being condemned, taking their responses, and putting them to use. Professional development could be promoted by offering additional classes or workshop that would help the teachers in there content or other areas of teaching.
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Pre-K provides an opportunity for children to develop in the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical domain. Pre-K can Bridge the Gap between children from different backgrounds and environments and prepare them for the transition to Kindergarten.
The issue with recruiting teachers is difficult in our county because we are in a rural area. So we could still attract them here with competitive wage and benefits. Increase the number partnership with the community and businesses. We also need to offer the proper support when they arrive.