“My passion for working with children and education turned into my lifelong work as teacher and education activist.
I believe education should not viewed as a product, but considered as an active process of growth and development. I want schools that foster the uniqueness of all students, not only in academic success, but in social and emotional growth and creative, critical thinking.
Our schools suffer from inequity, not ineptitude. To create real change, I believe we must address out-of-school factors Columbus City School (CCS) students come to school with each day. Every day as a teacher, I see how poverty impacts children’s ability to engage, learn and grow successfully. I will prioritize developing wrap around services within our community schools.
All teachers recognize that no two students require the same resources to reach their potential. Columbus City Schools must expand successful programs. We don’t necessarily need new schools to expand, but ways to extend these programs to existing schools. We must also focus on the importance of job training and technical programs.
I began my teaching career as a special education teacher. I am greatly concerned with the direction that services for special needs children have taken. One size fits all is not a solution for special needs students. Yet in Columbus, many students who need more class time, resources and auxiliary services and far less needless testing, are left out, because of generalized procedures for all special needs children. The recently passed levy promised more resources for special education, and I will work to make sure that this is carried out, as well as removing programs and policies that limit special needs students and teachers.
As I spoke to parents at the opening of each school year, I always stressed that no student of mine was a commodity, and that no parent was a customer. For students, I believe that as we work to change Columbus City Schools, we must move away from “school as a business model” and move towards a more collaborative, research-based approach to educating our children. For parents, we must stress that parents, teachers and administrators must work as partners for all our children. The time and resources to further the parent/teacher relationships must become a top priority for Columbus schools.
Together, we can create the ideal Columbus City Schools as described in the vision statement: A world-class model of public education that prepares members of our communities to reach their full potential.
Please join me in building something different. Join me in standing up for educational justice and liberation for our youth, our communities, and our future.”