October 14, 2020
How long have you lived in your district?
I have been living in the school district for 17 years with my wife and two boys.
Have you received any endorsements?
Yes, from Shawn White, President of NW Community Schools board of education
Are you an incumbent?
Why do you want to be a school board member?
I want to become a board member to have the opportunity to give back to the community. My family and I have always been involved in the community since we moved in. We love the community and the people who are in it. It is like a village where everyone likes to get their hands dirty to get the work done. I have been involved in coaching soccer, volunteering at the Cotton Facility Prison, chaperoning for my kids when it was needed, knocking on doors to encourage the residents to help pass the last school bond, and volunteering anywhere where there is a need. It is my district. My family has received a lot of support from it, so becoming a board member will give me the opportunity to be more involved and to share my talents, passion, and resources.
What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?
Education Justice is the system we should set in place to give the same opportunity to every student so they can succeed. It is about meeting them at their own level which is what I call equity in education. Our school district is made of students from different types of homes and backgrounds. Each student is unique and has different sets of need. What works for one may not work for others. So education justice is the safe haven the students need to succeed and become good citizens.
If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?
This is a great and big question and I don’t think there is one answer. This public health crisis shows us we need to rethink the way we set up our school system. Let us look at the students. We would need to make sure our students all have access to the internet and can function remotely. Our teachers need a lot of resources. They are already underpaid in the first place. The school district needs to provide more resources to them so they can get their classes ready. The teachers are spending so many hours working at the school (face to face) and still have to create time when they get home to care for the remote students. They are left with no time to care for their own family. We need more money in the budget. The schools should not have to make cuts especially this year. So I would like to see more money for technology, more compensation for the teachers, and more funds from the state.
Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?
Parents need to be able to voice their opinions and share their concerns. That is why parents have to be involved. The students should be able to give their feedback because they are the recipients. If the education provided to them is not meeting their needs, then the district is not doing a great job. It needs to be a full circle made with students, parents, teachers and administration staff.
Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?
Some long time friends
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?
My top priorities are to:
– Promote diversity
– Enhance technology
– and Ensure business continuity
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?
At the state level, I would like to see more funds allocated to the schools. The state is spending more money in the prison system than they do in the education system. Education is key to our society. I would like to see more technology for our students. I would like the state to provide free internet to all students. I don’t know if we will ever get to that point here in the US, but I know Canada is working on a project where all students will have free access to the internet. Technology becomes a basic need to this generation of students. They need free internet.
Last but not least, I would like to see the state make community college free for all students after they graduate. Students should not have to worry about how they are going to pay for an associate degree. At least there should a system set in place where the students should go get an associate and maybe pay for it later after they have a job.
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?
It is no longer an anticipation, it is a reality. The schools need more space for the students, more technology (the online system keeps crashing), more staff, more teachers, and more helpers. My school district is doing a good job managing the COVID crisis, but they need more resources.
What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?
It is another tough question. We had to make cuts because there was not enough funds in the budget. I don’t know all the priorities, but I know they were all needed.
What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?
Standardize testing is important because it helps us evaluate the students, but it doesn’t show how much the students know. The result of the tests only shows us how much the students retain. Not all students are good test takers, but that doesn’t mean they are not smart and can excel in other areas. So yes for standardize testing, but we should not spend too much time on preparing for it.
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 am not an Educator and I don’t think I know enough to change my school district ‘s curriculum, however I would support whatever I feel is right for the students because the focus in on them.
What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?
The students and staff spend so much time during the day focusing on school work. They are drained at the end of the day. Before COVID, it was already a big issue. Now it is getting worse. I hope the state can allocate some more funds to the school districts in order to have enough health professionals on staff to help the students, the teachers or the staff in general.
How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?
Discipline is important because it teaches us to be responsible for our actions. I also believe everybody deserves a second chance because we all make mistakes. Every incident should be treated differently and not a one size fits all.
What are your top priorities around special education in your district?
It would be the same as listed above.
What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?
To achieve equity in our school district, we need to learn to listen to each person or group separately. We need to treat everyone different and not put them in the same category. Once we know everyone’s need, then we can take appropriate actions to meet them where they are.
Any other information you want to include or share?
Thank you for taking the time to learn about each candidate.