QUESTION 1: When you talk to prospective voters about what the Board of Education can–and cannot do–what do you tell them?
Verona residents are knowledgeable, caring, and engaged citizens who largely understand the role and responsibilities of the Board of Education. Prospective voters know that the Board of Education is responsible for providing oversight rather than administering, that members are bound by a code of ethics and that many of our standards and assessments are mandated by the state. Voters understand that our budget is what it is and we must work within those confines.
My conversations with prospective voters have focused on our shared priorities such as continued efforts to improve mental health education and access to services and ensuring that students are prepared to thrive in a changing world. I often discuss with voters how my experience in mental health and business management will inform my oversight work and ability to effectively evaluate our programs. The board must ask the right questions to ensure that our schools are constantly promoting the values defined in our strategic plan: integrity, accountability, respect, teamwork, creativity, resilience, passion, and wellness.
I’ve discussed with Verona families the importance of setting district goals, retaining our incredible staff, and identifying the qualities and skills needed in new hires so that we can ensure that every school and every student is prepared for an evolving tomorrow. Every school in our district should be future-ready and include a strong focus on the arts, an increase in unstructured play, development of critical thinking and problem solving skills starting with our youngest learners, and a guarantee that every student in every grade not only has access to technology but learns to integrate that technology into their lives in a meaningful and safe way.
Lastly, the most important thing a board can do is engage with and inform the public. We need to understand from Verona residents how to best communicate the Board’s priorities and decisions. All of these are things that I can and will do as a member of the Board of Education.