Why do you want to be on the FHSD school board?
Why wouldn’t one want to be on the FHSD board of Education (the current political climate aside), we have a great school district! Our district is ranked in the Missouri’s TOP TEN, which is amazing considering that Missouri has more than 500 districts! We have such a stellar record because of our amazing teachers, staff, and students. In addition, we have two National Schools of Character and five Blue Ribbon Schools. In fact, we are the only district in St. Charles County with multiple National Blue Ribbon schools.
I am honored to be on many committees as an advocate for our community, teachers and kids. I have proudly served on the board for the last few years and I do think it’s important to continue our hard work. Just like an organization, or person, there have been moments where we could have done better. The important part in this is recognizing our mistakes and improving upon them, we can always do better.
My priority has always been the students, not the latest political movement. My priority will remain the students receiving a great education, my priority will never shift to the latest political movement, such as book banning.
I take pride that our community gets the most value for their tax dollars, and I am asking for your continued support to be a commonsense voice for the community and our district. My first priority will always be our kids.
If elected to the board, what issue/topic will be your top priority?
Increased communication. The district has strived for transparent, fact-based communication with the community; but, the district can do better. I am not just talking about making more Facebook posts or sending more emails. I mean involving our community in ways we haven’t before. Creating more student led community groups, increasing input on committees, using focus groups to help gather more community input. We need to shout from the rooftops how amazing our students, teachers, and staff are and stop the constant negative hit on our schools.
What are some specific changes you hope to enact while serving on the board?
Increased communication, increased community involvement, increased student involvement in our schools and community. We have great teachers and staff.
Budget challenges have placed more burdens on the staff. I will work to find a way to provide additional support and compensation to help with these increased challenges. In my opinion, this is an immediate task and one that we are currently working on.
In recent years, controversy surrounding COVID-19, CRT, controversial literature, etc. has been a hot topic at school board meetings. What do you think the district’s role is when it comes to addressing issues such as these?
Each one of these issues are unique and bring their own set of challenges. I believe our district has done a really good job with some of these issues and could have done better on some.
The past two years dealing with issues associated with Covid-19 have created stress for our staff, student and families in Francis Howell. I believe the district handled this as good as any district could have, given all the unknowns in this situation. We were one of a handful of districts across the state to offer safe, effective in-person learning for the entire 2020-2021 school year. We also provided a virtual option for our parents and students that chose not to be part of in-person learning. The important thing is we had a steady, calm approach and it was consistent. We based decisions using our own district and community data. I will continue to advocate for a safe, effective learning environment for our students, teachers and staff.
CRT- We are not teaching CRT. I think this is one of the areas we could have done better with communication when the district started to roll out our new Black History and Black Literature courses. Better communication, and distinguishing these courses from CRT, would have been helpful. However, I do think the district has recently done a better job in combating the false information out there. But, make no mistake I was and still am proud to support these optional courses.
Controversial Literature- I am not an advocate of banning books. The district has a system in place that allows the parents to prohibit their child from checking out certain books, that is their right. Every child should and needs to feel represented in our selection of books.
What plans do you have for increasing support for FHSD staff members?
It is no secret that there is a struggle here and we are not alone in this struggle. We need to look at outside the box ideas to increase our support, we need to have competitive wages, we need to look for ways to draw people to our district. That is a priority of mine.