A parent, former teacher, and alumna of Yale, UVA Law, and Teach for America.
Improving educational opportunities is a core tenet of my campaign: teachers should be supported, culturally responsive teaching should be embraced, we should diversify our teaching staff, school leadership, and school board, embrace restorative justice in our schools, and identify and fulfill the preschool needs of our students.
I would advocate for an increased emphasis on economic development in our area to bring more career ladder jobs to our community while expanding our tax base. I would advocate for a fair and equitable Composite Index that takes into account our revenue sharing with Charlottesville. I support data driven decision making that is focused on improving student outcomes. I would actively seek out and support community partnerships to provide our students more services without incurring higher costs.
I would support allowing alternative forms of assessment because I think our schools should be as student-centered and as individualized as possible. I would like to see less emphasis on testing and assessment along with an approach that values a more holistic approach to our educational goals for students; one that is more aligned with a long term vision of what we want from our children (becoming productive, fulfilled, and contributing members of the community).
Mary began teaching in 2003, and taught in 5 different school systems during her husband’s Air Force career. She has children in 2nd and 5th grades, and has worked in ACPS in PALS Reading Intervention. She is a tireless advocate for public education
As a Reading Interventionist, I have seen first-hand how lack of access to quality pre-k education directly affects our at-risk students. I will push for the county to expand our pre-k program until we serve every student who qualifies. I also know that the demographics of our high school specialty academies do not reflect the rest of our county. One major barrier is that we do not provide transportation to them. I will fight to provide transportation to all students who attend the academies.
Using local real estate taxes as the basis for education funding is one of the biggest causes of inequity across public schools. In Albemarle, our state funding has still not returned to the level it was before the recession, even though we serve more students. I will lobby our local and state legislators to fully fund our education budget, support candidates who will, and push for education policies that provide more funds to the areas with the most need. Everyone deserves excellent schools.
The SOLs have proven to be ineffective at clearly outlining student performance or progress, as well as raising student achievement. They have become a stressful crutch, used for false “accountability” for our schools. My own child was in tears over the pressure of 4th grade SOLs. I am in favor of ending SOLs, and implementing many types of assessments that meet the individual needs of our students- but only if they are created in collaboration with teachers. Learning/Life is not standardized.