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USD 512 Shawnee Mission District 4 BOE

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    Sean Claycamp
    (N)

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    April Boyd-Noronha
    (N)

Biographical Information

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

What skills, expertise, experience, or competencies qualify you for this position?

How would you suggest your school district address diversity issues for the most positive outcome?

With the recent pandemic, what technology or innovative changes do you envision for the district?

Personal Biography I am a native Kansan from Rossville. I graduated from Emporia State in 1994 with a Bachelor's in Communication. I spent several years on the production side in advertising and marketing before moving into sales. For the past 13 years, I have been fortunate to have a successful medical sales career. I have lived in Overland Park for 21 years and SMW for 16. My wife, Renee, and I have two awesome daughters that keep us busy between academics, performance interests, and athletics.
Campaign Address Overland Park, KS 66212
Campaign Phone (913) 901-6538
Campaign Web Site http://www.seanforsmsd.com
Education Emporia State University BFA-Communications 1994 Kansas State University 1995-1996
Community/Public Service Pawnee Elementary PTA & Panther Pack Dad's Group Harvesters Food Bank Serve regular at the Church of the Resurrection in kids programming and have taught two years of Disciple 1 Bible Study for adults Youth basketball and softball coach
1. Student achievement must be raised, especially in core subjects. I, like many, am not a fan of standardized tests however these tests indicate that more and more children are falling below grade level in critical subjects. We need to return the focus to traditional teaching styles and focus directly on core subjects to help kids catch up. 2. The pandemic was not anyone's fault and educators at SMSD did their best. Parents and SMSD educators must work together to elevate student achievement. To help get parents more involved, we need to provide them a greater level of transparency into what is being taught in the classroom(s) and why. Almost all instruction now is on a device not a text book so parents don't feel like they are getting a true picture of what is going on in the classroom. 3. We need to find ways to attract/retain a diverse group of educators. This means finding ways to compensate them and provide additional support. Funding must be focused on classroom instruction.
I do not have an education background so I am not going to try and argue that I will bring a new perspective on classroom instruction. What I have been very successful at in my career is getting in the middle of multiple stakeholders and finding solutions to problems that will work for all. Obviously, I am going to be looking at issues through the lens of a parent but I have always been a person willing to consider other perspectives. I am not afraid to be challenged in my beliefs and challenge others to find the best way forward and make a decision that I will stand behind. There are too many instances today of a lack of compromise. That's bad practice. No side of an argument or issue has a monopoly on all the good ideas. I'm confident I can be a civil voice of reason and clarity on an SMSD Board that is in need of a parent's perspective.
As the father of two SMSD children, I have been attending SMSD events for many years. I am not going to use the cliche that, "today's kids don't see color, gender, sexuality, disability, etc." That's too easy of an answer. Of course students see these things... those things simply don't matter to them. If you go to a K-12 event at SMSD or step into one of the 40+ schools you will quickly see these kids don't need a lesson in diversity. They embrace diversity every day, all day, and could be teaching it to adults. The real question is, are these students going to embrace diversity as they enter the world. That is of no concern to me and the parents of all backgrounds that I speak to. Our students deal with diversity on a daily basis amazingly well and that bodes well for the future. Spending valuable class time teaching children that one group is oppressed by the other and they need to break down these systems together is frankly not necessary and takes us in the wrong direction.
iPads, computers, etc., are not going away and they do allow students to carry almost all of their books and study with them everywhere they go. That's a good thing and provides some nimbleness to school policy regarding the ability for a student to be an active member of the classroom at home either due to ongoing concerns over Covid, quarantine, or weather concerns. That said, I think introducing a textbook or two back into the mix might not be entirely bad. Subjects like Math, Science, and Social Studies are now taught exclusively on a device. Could there be opportunities to return on occasion to a text book? Students and children spend so much time looking at screens now a break from that practice might refocus a students attention and break up monotony. It is at least worth considering and I would bet SMSD teachers and staff might be onboard with a few textbooks entering back into the classroom to stimulate learning by providing something new... yet old.
Personal Biography I was born and raised in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I attended the historic Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. My parents are retired educators, and their lifelong dedication to the teaching profession nurtured and prepared me to pursue my career in education. I am the proud mother of three children.
Campaign Phone (913) 303-1455
Campaign Email friendsforapril@gmail.com
Campaign Web Site http://www.aprilforsmsd.com
Education Bachelor of Business Administration and Management - Central Missouri State University, Master of Business Administration - Capella University
Community/Public Service Lenexa Rotary Club member. Board service: Central Exchange, STEMMy Awards
My top three priorities:

1.) Safely keeping students and staff in classrooms, where students learn best and teachers thrive most. I support the recommendations by health professionals pertaining to mask use in schools, and I applaud the leadership of our district in mandating mask use for students this school year. We must do all we can to create an environment of health and safety in our district to keep kids in school.

2.) Providing teachers more support in the classroom to combat learning loss that took place because of the extended time students spent out of the classroom last year. Virtual learning took a substantial toll on many of our students. Many kids have fallen behind. It will require additional supports to bring these students back up to par. ESSERS funds can be a tool the district uses to hire additional staff and relieve the strain on our teaching staff.

3.) Improving transparency. If elected, my commitment to the community is to always be accessible and responsive.
Proven leadership and poise under pressure. I have an established track record of working collaboratively with diverse groups of people with differing opinions to achieve strategic goals. In the socially and politically polarized times we are living in, possessing leadership ability and a balanced approach to problem-solving is essential to progress.

As a college professor of Cybersecurity, Computer Information Systems, and Health Information Management, I have the privilege of helping brilliant young minds learn new concepts and ideas. My students also challenge me to evolve as a scholar and a person. As President of Cyber XR Coalition, a cyber advocacy organization, I lead a global network of organizations seeking to address social and technical biases. The breadth of these experiences allows me the knowledge and strategic approach to assist the Shawnee Mission School Board build on its history of preparing students for success in life.

Shawnee Mission School District must utilize all avenues available to increase diversity at all levels within the district. This will require creating pipelines for our graduates of color to pursue education degrees. It will require our hiring recruitment efforts to go beyond HBCUs, and into the corporate, business, and non-profit sectors to find professionals who desire to make a career pivot into education, either into a classroom as a teacher or as an administrator. Lastly, we must provide competitive wages to classified staff, to entice first and second-year college students or those seeking certifications and professional licenses post-high school graduation, to come back to our district as paraprofessionals and other support staff. The wage disparity between white teenagers and teenagers of color is wide, providing competitive wages, and targeting our alumni of color for these positions could be a part of our long-term strategy to increase diversity within our district.
Virtual learning was thrust upon teaching staff last year because of the pandemic and the need to educate students outside the traditional classroom. Many of our students fell behind during virtual learning. However, with students back in the classroom this year full-time (fingers crossed), virtual learning can provide supplemental support to classroom instruction.

I also think virtual learning can be expanded among staff to provide unique professional development opportunities.