Bachelor of Music, University of Miami, FL
Master of Education, Cleveland State University
I have served one term (4 years) on the Berea Board of Education, with the last 2 years serving as its President. It has been a true privilege to represent the students and residents of Berea, Brook Park and Middleburg Heights. I bring 25 years of experience in education to my role as board member. As a mom of a 2017 graduate and 2 current students, I am extremely visible at school and community events. I've spent many years involved in local, district and state PTAs, as well as music & athletic boosters and the district Education Foundation. Listening and responding to residents, district communication, and transparency, are very important to me. I believe in the ongoing improvement of our school district and education of our children. I am passionate about serving and I take my role very seriously.
Our district is always facing financial cuts from the state. These cuts directly impact instruction. We have no control over it, and it's extremely frustrating. As a school board member, part of my job is to advocate for public schools and work towards communicating to the state legislature the ways which their always changing funding formula impacts our students locally. Another issue we face is the ever-changing world of state mandated testing. It has been a challenge and a frustration to our district dealing with different tests over the last few years and aligning our curriculum to meet the standards these tests are based on.
The state rankings are not a true picture of what a school district is about or offers its students. These rankings are based on scores from mandated tests, which change every year, taken on one day of the school year. There is no mention of all the awards students earn, the number of AP scholars, the number of students graduating with honors, the number of students getting into college and earning scholarships, the nationally recognized career tech programs, the arts offerings, the athletic opportunities, and so much more. As a board member, I make it a point to find out how these report cards are tabulated, where we can improve, and also educate myself on all the wonderful aspects of my district.
Padua High School
I believe in public education and in the Berea City School District. The district is in the process of renovating or building brand new schools and has a stable financial basis with a solid plan moving forward under the direction of an excellent superintendent ans treasurer. I believe that my teaching experience, my interaction with children and families of the district for over 26 years in municipal government and my proven record of leadership sucess will prove valuable to the board.
The most significant issue begins and ends with the low test scores on the state report card. We need to focus on how we as board members can supply the teachers, administrators and support staff of the district with the tools they need to raise the scores in every area. There is a lot of controversy regarding the fairness of the test but we must be careful not to make excuses as to why they are so low. Another issue is making sure those in our schools are as safe as possible. Are we doing everything we can to protect them from harm. Finally, we need to continue to try to get more involvement from parents in the education of their children. The most important educational years are from ages 0-5. We can give kids a great head start on learning if we give them a great foundation in their preschool years. But parental involvement doesn't end there! I would like to see packed houses on open house nights, parent/teacher conferences & extracurricular activities.
We should react calmly but with a sense of urgency to elevate these scores but not just to raise numbers. We need to make sure that we have kids ready for the next grade. "Teaching to the Test" will not give our kids what they need to succeed in the world. I would like to see a comprehensive study done to see what students are missing in regards to these rankings. My competitive nature won't allow me to accept finishing last in our SWC conference in test scores.
BS Civil & Environmental Engineering - University of Cincinnati
MS Civil Engineering - Water Resources - Cleveland State University
Post-Grad Studies - Public Administration - Cleveland State University
My first reason I want to serve on the Board of Education - I am a BCSD parent – my daughter is an 8th grader in the District and she is by far the most important thing in my life. A huge part of her life is her education and the schools she attends – the teachers she has, the classes she takes, her friends and the opportunities she's been exposed to – Sports/Clubs, Music/Orchestra, Camp Mi-Bro-Be to name a few. I did not have these opportunities in my education – and I want to ensure these opportunities are around for generations to come.
The second reason – I want to help the Board and BCSD Administration with these key items:
A – Accountability - to our students to provide them a 21st century education & to taxpayers to ensure we are investing their tax dollars wisely.
E – Environment - support staff in providing an effective, efficient, energetic educational environment.
I – Innovation - help identify and implement opportunities for improvement & innovation.
O – Outreach - continue to enhance outreach to all – students/parents/city officials/businesses/taxpayers
U – Understanding - help build a common understanding of the challenges of 21st century school system and the communities served by the District.
A third reason is that I want to be part of something important - which is providing the best educational environment possible for our youth - OUR FUTURE.
The talents I add - hard work, broad experience and communication capabilities.
Challenge - Public Perception – There are many perceptions out there – good, bad, indifferent. It is a big challenge to deal with Public Perception – especially if it is negative or unfavorable. To deal with this challenge - need to be aware of perceptions - especially if negative which could allow rumors and falsehoods to spread – and derail positive and constructive actions or plans.
Challenge - State Report Card – Sometimes a "grade" does not tell the whole story - need to research factors - and opportunities – and learn from others (e.g. neighboring districts) - on what works - and communicate improvement strategies to stakeholders.
Challenge - Finances – There are so many competing interests for the same dollars – and reduction of dollars from the State. The Board has to be mindful of expenses, opportunities, plans, and politics to be able to address any needs accordingly (e.g. operating expenses/levies).
Significant Issue - Stakeholder “Apathy” – One can say there is a lack of interest or enthusiasm or concern in general - unless there is negative media or operating levy on a ballot. At times - it appears people only focus on the schools when something is at stake – and not when things are going well. People need to be made aware of how much work it takes for effective 21st century education - no matter if times are good or bad.
The Board should not accept complacency or excuses - but require strategies for improvement with routine feedback showing results. If expected improvements are not achieved - need to figure out why - and address accordingly.
Above all - communication is needed throughout - from Administration to Staff to Parents to Community. There is more to a School District than just a grade - and it should be stated very publicly and very often that we are not satisfied with current state report card grade.