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    2020 School Board Candidates

    Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

October 4, 2020

Anupam Chugh Sidhu

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictPlymouth-Canton Community Schools
City:Canton

How long have you lived in your district?

19 years

Have you received any endorsements?

MEA, AFL-CIO, IBEW, State Rep Kristy Pagan, State Rep Matt Koleszar, Senator Dayna Polehanki, Wayne County Commissioner Melissa Daub, Canton Township Treasurer Dian Slavens, Canton Township Trustee Sommer Foster, Canton Township Trustee Anne Marie Graham-Hudak

Are you an incumbent?

Yes

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I’m running for school board because I believe that every child deserves the best educational opportunities where they feel safe, welcomed, encouraged, challenged, and supported to learn and thrive. I care deeply about students, my school district, and community. I am passionate about education and want to work on eliminating the opportunity gaps that exist in some of our subgroups. I have been serving on the board for four years where we have made progress, but there is more that we need to do to be the best district in the state.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education justice is where everyone has opportunities to receive high quality instruction with highly qualified teaching staff with appropriate support to remove barriers to learning. This means ensuring that everyone has support and opportunities for advanced classes, music/band, personalized curriculum, personalized support to remove barriers so that students can continue to advance (where gaps in learning don’t compound year after year), and schools that create inclusive environments that are welcoming and supporting of students’ needs and differences. Our school district embraced the restorative practices for students to help with discipline and suspension issues so that students don’t lose out on quality instructional opportunities.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

Personalized learning pathways where student learning is not measured by the strict number of minutes a student sits in class or in front of a computer. Students need more opportunities to be creative, problem solve, collaborate, communicate, and create networks beyond their physical classroom spaces.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Parents are a critical element to the success of a child and the district. Our board meetings welcome parent/student input and we ask parents/families to provide feedback depending with programs and opportunities. We should embrace parent involvement in other meaningful ways, including welcoming parents/families to learn about the different programs beyond the “parent/curriculum” night. We can create meaningful and productive collaborative opportunities where we meet families in their environments as we make a concerted effort to better understand their needs.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

Individual Donors, Canton Democratic Club, MEA

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

Equity (eliminate opportunity gaps for students in subgroups), social emotional support for students, smaller class sizes (particularly for elementary classes).

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

Adequate funding to support student success for all students including those that have additional needs (at-risk, special education, EL, etc.), personalized learning pathways for students, redesign learning for multiple success pathways to prepare students for workforce/college.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

My biggest priority is the health and well being of our students and staff, while providing students with high quality learning opportunities in the middle of this pandemic as we have to shift how instruction is delivered. We are dealing with a highly contagious virus that can cause many complications and fatalities. It’s a challenging situation that none of us ever envisioned and there are no easy answers. We are challenged with space, funding, teaching staff, busing, technology to create robust learning opportunities. Our families and teachers are doing the best they can with the minimum funding we get from the state. One of my concerns is around the expansion of the opportunity gaps this pandemic has caused and will continue to cause if we don’t come up with robust and creative solutions to meet the unique needs of students.

To ensure student and staff safety, the district is working with our local county health department, medical professional, school nurses, guidance from the MI Safe School Return to School Roadmap, physical distancing, face coverings, improved circulation, and outline strict and robust cleaning practices to ensure that surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Top priorities include increased social-emotional/mental health support for students, smaller classes, innovative student programs, devices/internet access, robust technology solutions to provide teachers with the tools they need, budget for teacher learning opportunities, high quality instructional materials, better pay for teachers & paraprofessionals (parapros), increased parapros, mentor teachers to build teacher capacity, and building infrastructure to ensure student and staff well-being, including safety enhancements.

It’s hard to say what should not be prioritized because we are doing the best we can with the limited funding we get. I would not want to take anything away without understanding the data/rationale behind cutting any program or initiative. District needs to do an analysis of what programs are working and which are not to figure out next steps. I don’t believe we should invest in more school reform officers.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Standardized tests can be one of many measures of student success, but should not be the only measure. We need multiple assessment measure including student portfolios, formative assessment, and program success based on competency of standards rather than standardized tests.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Move toward an anti-racist curriculum.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

We have a huge responsibility, but not enough funding to support this. This is a critical element that we continue expand to support students. We know how trauma and mental health can impact student success.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

One program that our district implemented a few years ago is restorative practices. We have seen improvements, but still have work to do with getting all staff trained and bringing the community along with this initiative so that it becomes part of our community.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

We are not doing enough to support all of our special education staff. One of the priorities would be to have more staff and support for special education students.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

This has been a priority for the board and the district for the past 5+ years. We need to work at eliminating barriers, working toward an anti-racist/balanced curriculum, increase staff diversity, and update our equity policy to ensure that we are intentionally working toward achieving equity. We started anti-bias training with the administration, but we need to offer this to all staff.

Any other information you want to include or share?

In June, I was appointed to Governor Whitmer’s Return to School Advisory Council to provide guidance on creating the MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap. I serve on multiple statewide committees to provide equitable support and services to schools. I have extensive experience working with students and school districts as an administrator, consultant, and classroom teacher. I am also a proud mother of a teenager at P-CCS.

October 4, 2020

Christopher Vos, Jr.

Pronouns:He/Him
School DistrictPlymouth-Canton Community Schools
City:Canton

How long have you lived in your district?

19 years

Have you received any endorsements?

no

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I am running because I want all students to have what I had: schools with caring adults who lovingly help them become the people they want to be.
So many of our students are struggling with all kinds of challenges at home, which inevitably affects their ability to focus and succeed in school. This makes the role of schools in creating safe and loving spaces even more critical. It also means that we have to look at the educational system in context.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education justice is the struggle to bridge the unequal access to quality and well-rounded education within the public school system. This includes accessibility to knowledge that is not usually included in public school curricula, such as empathy education, media/advertising education, power dynamics, organizing tools, etc.
Plymouth Canton has two things to focus on for education justice:
Curriculum and Methods: Often curricula in schools today are disconnected from students’ realities. Many youth are unable to grasp the relevance of what they are learning in public schools, and struggle to connect what is being taught to what they actually need to learn to survive happily and healthily in their communities. To add to the frustration, the methods in which subjects are being taught are disengaging and do not cater to all types of learners.
Economic Caste System: Knowledge is power, and our school systems today are funded and built in such a way to provide a better education to those who live in wealthier neighborhoods.
While our high schools are very diverse and offer the same opportunities to students of diverse nationalities, colors, creeds, our middle schools and elementary schools fall short of this. Compare the playgrounds at Bird with the playgrounds at Bentley and Eriksson. The passage of the 2020 Bond will do much to overcome the physical gap that students encounter. Much needs to be done outside of this to bridge the educational gap.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

Well being of students and teachers will need to be of highest priority. It’s now clear that without their teachers’ care and support it’s hard for many young people to stay well and focused. Being well, we’ll appreciate, isn’t an alternative to being successful. It’s an essential precondition for achievement, especially among our most vulnerable children.
More gratitude for Teachers.
There will have to be a related push for vocational skills and training, and higher status for schools and programs that provide it.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Trust and parental participation are also features of a successful school. Trust between all parties of the school community is vital for enhancing the school’s effectiveness because it supports the prospect that parents and teachers believe in each other’s motives and actions. Parental participation is also important because it sends the message to students that the adults in their lives–both teachers and parents–believe in the importance of education and are willing to make time to support students’ educational experiences and efforts.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

Family and friends

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

Equity for all students.
Fiscal responsibility.
Trust between parents/community and leadership.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

Change to way Michigan schools are funded
Equity for all students
Public school support a priority over charter schools

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Better digital resources. As money gets tighter, families on the edge of poverty should not have to choose between maintaining internet services or putting food on the table.
Better communication between district leadership and families.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Facility upkeep and cleaning.
Teachers salaries. Professional development that is meaningful.
Money for specials, art, band, gym.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Assessing student achievement, evaluating programs and create educational policy.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I think our curriculum is top notch and being lead and managed by some very qualified individuals.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

Well being of students and teachers will need to be of highest priority. It’s now clear that without their teachers’ care and support, it’s hard for many young people to stay well and focused. Being well, we’ll appreciate, isn’t an alternative to being successful. It’s an essential precondition for achievement, especially among our most vulnerable children.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

We profess to have a no tolerance policy for many issues such as weapons, bullying, threats. We need to enforce this policy 100% of the time.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

This is one area that I am lacking information on. I am currently working on educating myself in the area of special education and it’s needs in our district.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

I am running because I want all students to have what I had: schools with caring adults who lovingly help them become the people they want to be.
So many of our students are struggling with all kinds of challenges at home, which inevitably affects their ability to focus and succeed in school. This makes the role of schools in creating safe and loving spaces even more critical. It also means that we have to look at the educational system in context.

Any other information you want to include or share?

October 4, 2020

Jeannie Moody-Novak

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictPlymouth-Canton Community Schools
City:Canton

How long have you lived in your district?

26 years

Have you received any endorsements?

No

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I wish to serve my community and feel that my perspective as a parent in this district for the past 25 years offers me great insight into the issues we face. I worked in my prior position for a large national bank, PNC, in the Trust and Investment Office for more than 12 years. I understand balance sheets, budgets, bonds and investments. I have served as an elected board member of our library and understand how a large municipal budget operates, the responsibility of the board to review and assess the performance of the superintendent and the importance of participating in the long term planning. When I proposed the establishment of the library endowment, I didn’t just sign the paperwork, I also went out into the community and fundraised for it. I am a proactive individual and lifelong learner and would bring this trait to the school board.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Educational justice means that every students educational experience matters. Removing implicit bias from the classroom is crucial to providing the best experience for all students. Celebrating the diversity of our district is crucial and understanding how different students learn and how their unique perspectives make all of us stronger as a community is just a start. Problems are easier to solve when all who sit at the table are different and bring their varied backgrounds and perspectives to the process.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

I believe we will end up stronger as a district as a result of the pandemic. We are adopting new ways of learning and becoming more flexible and adaptable as individuals. We are now open to using new technology. We will adopt what has worked well and find new tools to replace what didn’t work. As a community, many are demanding our students return to learning in person for their mental, social, emotional and physical well-being. I believe the community understands now why this area is so very important and may be open to allocating more resources to address mental health in our schools.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

I think the pandemic has revealed new ways for teachers, parents, students and families to attend board meetings and share their views prior to decisions being made by the board. They have discovered ways to submit their questions before the board. Now we just need the board to answer those questions in a timely way instead of just spending time reading the questions out loud. This learning experience will make our board stronger and more accountable to addressing the concerns of the taxpayers in our communities.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

I am running a grassroots campaign. I am not accepting money from anyone. I am only seeking the support of the community by asking them to vote for me.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Address the teacher shortage issues by attracting and retaining the very best teachers for our students. 2. Provide DEI and implicit bias training across the board for teachers and students. 3. Allocate more funding for social, emotional, mental and physical well-being of our students.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. End the repurposing of school aid funding for priorities other than K-12 public education by the State of Michigan. 2. Equity increases to address funding differentials between districts and provide additional resources for “at-risk” school districts. 3. End the appropriation of public funds being directed to private or religious schools .

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Adopt a science based approach to evaluation of data. Review the number of new covid cases in our area regularly. All districts and areas are not the same. Use data-driven decision making.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Attracting and retaining teachers and appropriate staffing should be a priority focus. Additionally, we should allocate resources for addressing systemic racism in our schools and country. We need to do this by prioritizing training and opening dialogue for students of all ages.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Standardized tests give us an idea of how we are performing against other school districts in our state and where we might need to focus our attention.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Health Education is an area that needs to be addressed. The curriculum approved by our state legislators needs to be addressed. It appears to be outdated. Mental health is an issue facing a great number of students and families in our district. Lets bring this subject out into the open. Lets teach students to be more inclusive and teach them why this is important.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

I believe this is a very high priority item….and I think many families feel like me. This is an issue many parents list as a reason we should all return to the classroom immediately. While I feel science should drive our decision to return to the classroom, I also feel that students and their families witnessed the detrimental effect of students mental health when they were forced to stay at home earlier this spring due to the pandemic.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Schools are begging for increased parent teacher involvement. When students have a discipline problem, parents need to be involved in the dialogue and resolution between their children and the administrators or teachers at the school. Increased discussion is of great importance. Also, this is an area where implicit bias training could allow teachers to understand the differences among their students and develop empathy toward improved conflict resolution in their classrooms.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Every student is a unique individual. I think our state has come a long way with the use of the IEP. It has been an improvement for parents and students alike and opens up dialogue and discussion so these students can perform at their very best.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Equity among schools is greatly needed. Not all schools within the district are alike. Some need greater resources, allocations and improvements to their facilities based on the age of the buildings. Continually addressing infrastructure is of great value to our community as well as our students.

Any other information you want to include or share?

When the pandemic is over, I feel the increased dialogue within our community needs to continue. I hope to be part of the continued conversation and long term planning of our district.

October 4, 2020

Lauren Christenson

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictPlymouth-Canton Community Schools
City:Plymouth

How long have you lived in your district?

36 years

Have you received any endorsements?

MEA, Plymouth Democratic Club, Canton Democratic Club, AFL-CIO, IBEW Local 58, State Representative Matt Koleszar, State Representative Kristy Pagan, State Senator Dayna Polehanki, Mayor of Plymouth Oliver Wolcott, Mayor Protem of Plymouth Nick Moroz

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

As an educational interior designer, I work with multiple stakeholders with differing viewpoints on projects daily. Designers are problem solvers. I have experience working with school boards, administrators, students, parents, and staff of school districts throughout Michigan and Ohio. My ability to listen, research, collaborate, communicate, and think on my feet will serve well on the P-CCS board of education. I am also a leadership member of my local Moms Demand Action chapter and involved in our community. I plan to work hard and collaborate with my fellow board members and the superintendent to make informed decisions to place P-CCS students and teachers first. I know the value of a P-CCS education and want to represent my district and community to ensure all students have the best educational experience and opportunities available. I’m rooted here, I’m raising my children here, and I’m passionate about education.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

To me, educational justice is about providing equity in education for all students. It’s about providing the services and support that is needed for student success. I believe P-CCS needs to continue this work to shrink the achievement gaps in our student population.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

There’s no doubt the pandemic will change the way we function well into the future. Post-pandemic I would envision a school that district that has embraced technology, encourages and amplifies student voice, focuses on teaching resiliency, provides more opportunities to explore passions and deeper learning experiences, and has more rigorous cleaning protocols.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

As stakeholders, parents and students should absolutely be involved in the decision making process. I believe they should be able to voice their concerns and share their opinions to the board and administration and we need to listen. Traditionally this has been done through citizen’s comments, phone calls and emails. I believe this can be furthered by hosting community listening sessions with the board and more frequent coffee chats with our superintendent. Collaboration and communication are key and should flow freely between all parties. Parent and student trust and support is important to the success of P-CCS.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

My campaign has been supported through club endorsements and grassroots fundraising efforts.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Every student should have opportunities to succeed. I believe this can be accomplished through policy, continued professional development of P-CCS faculty and staff, improved support services for students, and creating a more inclusive curriculum.

2. Excellence through measurable goals in order to recruit and retain quality educators.

3. Better school safety through COVID precautions, promoting connections between students and staff, building upon restorative practices, and providing support services for students in need.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. Advocate for better funding for public education.
2. Advocate for better funding for public education.
3. Advocate for better funding for public education.

Proposal A has significantly hurt P-CCS. Prior to proposal A much of the funding for public education came from local property taxes. Now we receive most of our funding from the state and while it is complex, we receive significantly less money per pupil as compared to our neighboring districts. Due to the decreased funding per pupil, over an extended period of time, we have been forced to privatize our custodial and bussing services and have had to make difficult financial decisions. I would strongly urge our community to connect with our legislators to advocate for increased public education funding. Locally, we are fortunate to have a community that is very supportive of public education and voted to pass the 2020 bond for technology and facility upgrades for P-CCS. The Wayne-County RESA millage is on the ballot November 3rd. This funding has more flexibility in use and can directly impact the classrooms and services P-CCS provides. I strongly support this millage and hope our community does too.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

There are so many challenges for education within the context of COVID. The pressing issue is return to school with the safety of our students and staff as a top priority. As a working parent of two elementary aged children, I truly want them to return to face-to-face instruction. However, I don’t believe we should be rushing to do so without understanding the risks and the metrics of what is deemed safe. Students are experiencing trauma due to COVID. They are vulnerable and need continued support regardless if we are remote or face-to-face. I think P-CCS needs to ramp up the support systems during this time as there is greater need across all socioeconomic backgrounds. The district has to work tirelessly to ensure safety protocols and cleaning procedures are upheld.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Right now I believe the top funding priorities are effectively spending the bond money that passed with community support in spring of 2020. I also believe advocating for the passage of the Wayne County RESA millage, which is on the ballot this November. These funds can and should be used for classroom improvements and hiring of key support staff. Items that can be deferred for later payment/investment should not be a priority.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

I realize that standardized tests are a required metric for measuring student achievement and success. However, I don’t believe that this should be the only measure of student success. Many of the skills that students need to become productive citizens of our community cannot be measured on a standardized test. Therefore, I believe they should be deemphasize the importance of testing and should engage our children in deeper learning opportunities that included project based learning.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I believe we need a more inclusive curriculum at P-CCS. Our curriculum should reflect the diversity of our students and be woven throughout the curriculum, not just highlighted during a small portion of the school year. I would keep successful portions of our curriculum including the leader in me program, the International Baccalaureate, and the build upon the wide range of program offerings that are available at P-CCS due to the size of our district.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

I believe there is a great responsibility to support students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing. Staff wellbeing directly translates to student wellbeing. We need to create environments that support our students and staff physically and emotionally. This awareness can have a positive impact on attraction and retaining teachers. Student services and supports are needed to keep our students emotionally healthy and well.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

I do not believe we need a school resource officer in our buildings. It brings a false sense of security and it can incite further trauma to our vulnerable students. We need to continue improve our restorative justice practices to address misconduct that focuses on healing rather than punishment and values accountability over exclusion.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

The top priority for special education is to get our students back to face-to-face instruction with their support para professionals and other interventions safely.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

We need to continue our diversity, equity, and inclusion work. We need ongoing professional development of our teachers and staff to include diversity, equity, and inclusion training. Support services need to be in place to shrink the achievement gaps, which greatly affect our minority populations at P-CCS. Our curriculum should reflect the diversity of our students and be woven throughout the curriculum, not just highlighted during a small portion of the school year. Our teaching staff should also reflect the diversity of our community. We need to continue improve our restorative justice practices to address misconduct that focuses on healing rather than punishment and values accountability over exclusion. These initiatives collectively can help create safe and inclusive environments for our students.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I want to share that Patrick Kehoe, Anupam Sidhu, Shawn Wilson and I have joined together to run as a slate for this election. We feel that each of us brings strong leadership, experience, innovation, and diversity to the board. We are parents of PCCS kids at all grade levels. We feel the slate is best positioned to meet the challenges of P-CCS faces and have the passion and the vision to help move P-CCS to greater heights. I look forward to earning your vote and working hard for P-CCS.

https://www.laurenforpccs.com/
https://voteyes4pccs.com/

October 4, 2020

Patrick Kehoe

Pronouns:He/Him
School DistrictPlymouth-Canton Community Schools
City:Plymouth

How long have you lived in your district?

45 years

Have you received any endorsements?

— Senator Dayna Polehanki, 7th District — Representative Kristy Pagan, 21st House District — Representative Matt Koleszar, 20th House District — Commissioner Melissa Daub, Wayne County District 10 — The Michigan Education Association (MEA) — The Plymouth Democratic Club — The Canton Democratic Club — IBEW — AFL-CIO

Are you an incumbent?

Yes

Why do you want to be a school board member?

To help make certain that all kids can achieve their maximum potential. To guide our already great district to greater heights. To support public education.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

I’m not familiar with the term “education justice”, but one of the goals I’ve had over the time I’ve served and my key future goals is to close the achievement gap. Especially with our sub-groups, notably our black / african american students. As a district we must strive for equity and identify the root causes of these gaps and purposefully and systematically address them.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

First and foremost I would change the way that education is funded in Michigan. While the intent of Proposal A was to provide equity, after 35 years, those gaps still exist and show the stark difference between the haves and the have nots. I would have a level funding model for all districts with regional adjustments based upon cost of living, achievement levels, and poverty rates.

For school itself, this pandemic has shown that traditional school isn’t for everyone. High quality virtual options should continue to be made available, including hybrid models that combine in person and virtual. With proper funding class sizes could be brought down significantly and additional investments made in social, emotional, and mental wellness.

Ultimately public school should allow all students to thrive and be able to reach their full potential.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

As part of a learning community, parents, teachers, students, even support staff and administration all work together to build the school and education that is right for them.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

Myself at this point

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. During Covid, make certain that we can educate our students while keeping students and staff safe.
2. Closing the equity gap that PCCS has with our sub-groups, notably our Black/African American students. In addition, during recent Black Lives Matters protests, I was disheartened to hear of subtle as well as overt racism in our district. While the district has made great strides in our restorative practices and suspension / expulsion policies and processes, we clearly have more work to do.
3. To make certain that all students can achieve their full potential. This includes those who need additional support, as well as those who need additional challenges.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

Funding, Funding, Funding

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Navigating the delicate balance between health and safety and providing an excellent education for students. COVID is changing every day and we are getting conflicting information on how and when it is safe to return to in person school. Finding the right way to keep students and staff safe while getting back to in person for those that need and want it is the most urgent task.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Supporting the classroom including teachers and support staff

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Standardized tests provide guidance to educators on one aspect of how students perform. They should not be the only measure of students (or educators).

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

More quickly create a unified and aligned curriculum in the district that embeds representation from all of our cultures and backgrounds present in the district and community.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

Education starts with mental and emotional well being.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Restorative practices have been implemented in the district and need to continue to be emphasized and propagated.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

As we have moved to the least restrictive model of special education we need to provide additional resources in the classroom to support those students.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

As mentioned, Equity is a key goal for me and our board.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I, along with Anupam Chugh Sidhu, Lauren Christenson, and Shawn Wilson have created a slate of four candidates for this upcoming election cycle. While there are many good candidates running, we believe that this slate provides the optimal balance of leadership, experience, innovation, and diversity, as well as being parents of PCCS kids at all levels. There are many challenges facing PCCS over the coming years, and we believe that this slate is best positioned to meet those head-on and guide the district to greater heights. Campaigning is always difficult and resource-intensive, and with Covid, this is even harder. Having a coordinated slate will allow us to pool resources and networks to run the best possible campaign while simultaneously advocating for the renewal of Wayne RESA Regional Enhancement Millage.