October 6, 2020
School District:Walled Lake Schools
How long have you lived in your district?
Have you received any endorsements?
Yes – WLEA (Teacher Union)
Are you an incumbent?
Why do you want to be a school board member?
As a father of 3 young kids, who are all in the Walled Lake District, I want to help the community come together in our time of need. We need to continue to support our teachers, students, parents, and community members through these unprecedented times. As a former legislative rep for the Keith PTA, and as a continued volunteer within the school, I want to help be a positive voice for the community. I plan to help disseminate factual communications to the public and bring their concerns when appropriate to my fellow board members. Working as an IT Project Manager for a consulting firm; I am faced with making tough decisions daily. While it is a team effort, as the Project Manager, I am the one who is ultimately held responsible for the success or failure of the project. I feel that my experience working with a global team, managing project timelines & budgets, & navigating high-pressure situations, provides me with a perspective that will be helpful as a board member.
What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?
Education justice ensures that all kids are afforded the same opportunities within the district. We need to account for all demographics and ensure that all programs (Ex – Gifted/Talented, Special Needs, Trades, etc) are all given proper funding.
If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?
Health and Safety will become more apart of the every day routine then ever before. Following PPE protocals will be part of the new “normal” and it will be important that parents, students, and faculty all work together to make everyone feel safe.
Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?
I think we need to continue the “committee” approach to problem solving. Bringing together teachers, families, subject matter experts from within our communities, and the adminstration to make decisions together.
Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?
None (self financed)
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?
1) Everyone’s safety & a desire to get back to in-person learning. We need to work closely with medical professionals, the CDC, and our community members with expertise in the fields to create a plan that is safe for both teachers and students to return to in-person Learning
2) School Funding. Public school funding is repeatedly being cut by our government. We need to work closely with our legislative representatives and put a plan in place that will help fund our districts. Otherwise, we will lose out on some great educators and ultimately it will be our children that suffer
3) Balancing the overall needs of every student; knowing it is not one size fits all. As a community, we need to continue working on balancing funding for all programs. Special Needs Programs, Student Counseling, Clubs/Sports need to available for all families to leverage. We need to continue partnering with our State Reps and District Administration to be an advocate for our community members.
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?
I would say my goals at the school district level also apply to the state level. As we need continuned support from our state reps to achievce goes as both levels.
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?
We to ensure we have clear guidelines in place to avoid conforntational discssions around Covid when ever possible. We need to continue to offer options to the community to account for everyones personal views and needs. Whether it be My Path, Our Path, or Face to Face, Covid will continue to cause uncertainty for quite some time, so we need to offer families choices. In addition, we must realize this is a fluid situation, so we have to be willing to constantly adapt and change as we learn more.
What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?
We need to find ways to increase per student funding and ensure fair pay for teachers at the same time.
What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?
I personally feel like standardize tests should serve as basline, but should be balanced against other metrics at the local school levels. Standardize tests should not be looked as the most important metric in school. We have many intelligent people who may not be good test takers and we need to account for that.
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 dont think its the school boards place to weigh in on curriculum. I think we must rely on the adminstration we have put in place to make those decisions.
What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?
As mentioned above I think its very important to have funding for all school programs and that would defintly include student counsling and other mental health services.
How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?
Consistency and faireness is key. I think we need to work with out state partners to follow guidelines put in place. In addition we need to collaborate with neighboring districts and parents to ensure all guidelines are equal for all and followed
What are your top priorities around special education in your district?
We need to ensure we have proper facitlities and provide staff with the necessary training to meet the needs of special needs student. Covid has showed us, that no matter how much we try, virtual learning is not meeting the needs of our special need students. We need to be create and come up with SAFE ways to get them in personal learning to meet their needs.
What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?
If we truely believe in our slogan, Every Child, Every Day, then we need to continue to balance the needs of everyone and every program.