October 4, 2020

Sheryl Stankus

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictAnchor Bay School District
City:New Baltimore

How long have you lived in your district?

21 years

Have you received any endorsements?

ABEA

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

To be an advocate for our students and help provide the best education available.

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

Education justice is the ability to provide a quality education for students despite their circumstances, ethnicity, or learning disability. In our district, children with learning disabilities sometimes get lost in the shuffle. This needs to be improved upon.

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

I would like to see more classes held outdoors while the weather is favorable, more recesses for elementary levels, smaller class sizes, incorporating technology into the classroom that would easily transfer to at home work.

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

Parents and students should have the ear of every board member. Parents should have a position on the board to bring the family aspect to decision making. Students should have a voice so that they are heard regarding the pressures and concerns they face at school and home.

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

ABEA

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

1 to 1 technology, expand the CTE program at the high school, include more STEAM classes at the middle school and elementary levels

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

k-12 funding, CTE student apprenticeship programs, teacher 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?

One challenge will be keeping the students actually in the classroom. Our district needs to make sure that the cleaning protocols are met and exceeded and possibly giving the students time outside so they get a break from wearing a mask.
Another will be keeping virtual students engaged and on track. Our district could allow students to participate with small groups outside of school in order to do labs/hands on activities.

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 should be technology, safety and teacher salary. I cannot think of an item that should be low on the priority list at this time.

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

Although they do give an idea of how a student is learning, they should not be prioritized as they are. Some students do not test well and standardized tests are not a good gage on how they are learning. Teacher sometimes teach for the tests and can miss out on engaging conversation and opportunities.

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 would remove the Mandarin program. Mandarin is not widely spoken in Michigan and to teach a communist country’s language and culture to students who will never use it is a waste of time and money. Although a second language is extremely important – and easier to learn at a young age – our district didn’t give the community a say in this choice. It was forced on our students. If they had, I believe that Spanish would have been the preferred language.
The STEM program is a keeper! We have well trained and very engaging teachers in this field. The students are hands on and really enjoy these classes.

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

I believe the district has a very important role in a students’ and staff’s wellbeing. The staff can be the first line of defense for a student who is experiencing problems at home/school. The administration has the responsibility to support our teachers as well. They worry about their students and coworkers and may have private knowledge that affects them emotionally.

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

The district needs to hold students responsible for their own actions. Some students think they can get away with destruction of school property, bullying, stealing, ect. Detention isn’t always the answer. They should be made to fix the wrong they did. Having strong leadership will earn the respect of the students and the staff in the buildings.

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

To make sure every student that should be tested for a learning disability is. When a parent or teacher have a concern, it should be looked at seriously and not dismissed.

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

With great leadership, anything is possible.

Any other information you want to include or share?