What is your name?
Which School Committee term are you running for?
What is your personal experience or background with PreK-12th grade public education in Massachusetts?
My personal experience with k-12 education is limited to having been a student, now being a parent of two students (k and 2), having an elementary teacher as my wife, and having taught a limited number of programs in a Boston Public School.
In your opinion, what are the hallmarks of a “good school district”? How do you measure if a school district is deemed “good”?
To me the two measures of a great school district are how much opportunity every single student is given to reach their full potential and how empowered every educator is to educate every single child in whatever way that child needs to be reached.
What do you view is the role of the School Committee in the way the district functions?
The School Committee functions on a 30,000 foot level. The role of a school committee is to approve the school budget and drive policy. Ultimately it is the role of our administration to manage the daily operations of our schools and the role of our educators to adapt or create curriculum and educate our children.
Please describe your thoughts and feelings on input from various stakeholders (educators, parents, and students) on informing decisions.
I see the role of School Committee as an air traffic controller directing parents concerns or ideals to administration and supporting administration through the solving of any issues that arise. Our educators ultimately are the only experts on many important things a school committee navigates and I believe fundamentally in a functional working relationship between our school committee and our educators that supports and empowers our educators always.
Sharon is home to a very diverse public school district. The district is working on moving past just the celebration of diversity and toward creating a culture of inclusivity and belonging for all students, families, and educators. In your words, please explain the difference between “equality” and “equity” in a diverse public school system.
To me equality suggests that every students receive the same thing. Equity is about providing every students with the opportunity to reach their highest performance- not specifically academically but entirely. We have an extremely diverse community- not just religiously or ethnically or racially, which are all very important diversities, but economically and learning style. Every student is owed by our district a full, complete, and equitable education. It is our responsibility as school committee members, administrators, and educators to work towards ensuring that happens. Any student’s inequitable education is a failure on all of our parts.
In your opinion, what would it take to maintain a healthy relationship between the School Committee, Administration, the Sharon families and the Educators in the school?
To be frank, new voices are needed at the table to first build and then maintain a healthy relationship between all stakeholders holders. We have to first understand that administrators, educators, families and school committee members all want what is best for students. We need to also understand that for administrators and educators this is also their profession abs the way they provide foe their families. Our educators should never be put in a position where they have to sacrifice their livelihood or safe working environment in order to educate our children. Educators must also never be put in a position where they have to sacrifice their professional and personal goals of educating our children to the best of their abilities in order to maintain a safe working environment or livelihood. We need to commit to both, always. We can do that. We simply need to start new and build bridges where others have broken.
What questions do you have for the educators in our district?
If we could fix 3 things in our district in year 1, what would they be and how would we do that? If we can be a more perfect school district over 3 years, what steps would we need to take and how would we achieve them?