What is the importance of District #116 School Board to your constituents?
Our school board plays an important role in our community. They are an elected board of community members who directly impact budget and employee decisions as well as holding administration accountable to the implementation of research-based practices. Our schools should reflect the values of our community and it is the chief duty of the board to protect and honor the voices of all parts of that community.
Why are you qualified to be on the School Board?
I am qualified to be on school board for many reasons. I have worked as a teacher for 5 years, 3 in this school district. I am currently pursuing my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in math education. I also have experience working on several boards. Finally, I have been working tirelessly in my community: speaking at board meetings, volunteering and mentoring in the schools, as well as partnering with the Social Justice Teacher’s Collaborative. I have partnered with community members to stand up for the rights of poor and disenfranchised children consistently in my time in Urbana.
If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the School Board, and how long will it take?
Everything I hope to accomplish can be simplified into 3 categories: Community Restoration, Transparency, and Accountability. Restorative practices include greater and purposeful inclusion of youth voices in policies implemented in schools as well as greater partnership across roles: teachers, students, administration and community members. This would also include easier access to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and multiple opportunities for community input in the selection of the new administration. Transparency would include transcribing school board meetings so that decisions and discussions are easily searchable and quickly translated for Spanish and French-speaking families. Accountability would include a clear plan of action for consequences for poor or unethical behaviors in teachers, staff and students. This would include a third-party reporting system where teachers and students can report sexual harassment, racist talk or behaviors, or other mistreatment.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
It will be important for our community to stand firm against the rollbacks of Obama-era policies implemented by Betsy Devos. We need an educated board and a principled administration who are able to stand firm for the holistically and care-based support of students and community. We will need to resist deficit perspectives and adopt research-based practices that value the contributions of everyone in our community!