I'm a psychology professor and mother of three. My family and I have lived in Falmouth since 2001, and I've been volunteering in the schools throughout that time. I believe this combination of experiences--parent and teacher--gives me a unique understanding of the needs of Stafford's students and teachers.
If elected to the Falmouth seat for School Board, I will work to promote quality education, teacher retention, and smart spending--things that benefit all Stafford residents, regardless of whether you have a child in the school system.
My number one priority is to ensure SCPS students receive the education they need to fulfill their goals, whether that be higher education, the job market, military service, or homemaking. Students graduating from SCPS should have the skills necessary for the next step in their lives.
Although every student is unique, I believe there are improvements we can make to help ALL students: retaining good teachers, maintaining a cost-effective and transparent budget, maximizing in-person instruction rather than distance learning, and identifying and assisting students with special needs.
Today, SCPS is doing a great job of bringing in talented new teachers. However, we aren't doing such a good job of keeping those teachers. Right now, SCPS is hiring new teachers, training those teachers, and then losing them to counties and states with higher pay and better benefits. We need policies that demonstrate that we value the important contribution that teachers make in educating our next generation of citizens.
If elected, I will advocate for policies that attract, train, and RETAIN teachers--so that we can maintain SCPS teaching excellence.
Two years ago, the public learned of financial mismanagement by SCPS.
I believe in spending on education, but I want to know that my tax dollars are being used for their intended purpose. If elected, I will work to demystify SCPS spending, promote cost-effective education, and fight back against waste. I will work with the Board of Supervisors to appropriately fund our schools.
Education: In the School
In recent years, we've seen a move towards virtual and remote learning, with students taking classes from an instructor in a different part of the county or state.
I think remote learning is detrimental to student engagement, and research shows that students learn better from a real, present teacher. Virtual learning is advertised as a cheaper alternative, but if it is at the cost of student learning, are we really saving money?
When possible, students need a teacher in the classroom with them.
Educating Every Student
I know first hand what it's like to navigate both the 504/IEP maze and to fight for gifted education: exhausting. The process is confusing and requires constant parent focus and effort. I believe that we can do better.
If elected, I will use my own experiences to advocate for students and parents with special needs. We can and must make this process easier.