Occupation: Residential Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Coordinator
Educational degrees and qualifications:
Proud Graduate of Our Beloved Flint Community School District
Why are you running for Flint Board of Education?
I am running for the school board because I believe that I can make a difference. I have experience on all levels of FCS, I am a former school bus driver, former after school coordinator and most recently a former an attendance agent, I worked with the administration, the building principal, the teaching/support staff, transportation and after school to ensure that our scholars were present and accounted for and if they weren’t how was it that I could intercede on behalf of the district to get those truant families the resources they needed to ensure that their scholar was at school, on time and in class for the entire day. As a school bus driver I learned everything there was about transportation and was instrumental in ensuring that students made it to school safely and most importantly on time. As an after school educator/coordinator I learned everything I could about out of school time and how day school and after school works hand in hand to create the total learning experience. As an Attendance Agent I worked directly with the district and my building principal to ensure that students who were dealing with attendance issues were introduced to the many resources the district had to offer but also encouraged and rewarded those students who didn’t have attendance problems. This position allowed me to go into the community and be visible and create connections with our families which I believe is important for them to see us in our communities and interact with our scholars and their families. One of my goals is to improve the morale of the board by bringing a positive and fresh mindset. With my experience in education, transportation and fundraising as a member of the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) and GPA(Grant Professionals Association) I believe that I would be a great asset to the board.
Flint Community Schools continue to battle against financial hardships. If elected to the Flint Board of Education, how would you leverage the current Flint Community Schools properties, occupied and vacant, to alleviate this financial strain?
I believe we are on the right track with selling the majority of our vacant buildings but I also believe that this process must be extremely well executed and we must be intentional with who is allowed to purchase these buildings.
If elected to the Flint Board of Education, how will you ensure that the district attracts and maintains highly qualified teachers and other staff? Please explain any plan(s) for recruitment and retention?
The teaching staff is the heartbeat of our district. During COVID and virtual learning I saw our teachers go above and beyond to ensure our scholars continued to not only get the best education during the circumstances but they also were out in the community as well dropping off homework assignments, supplies and other home school necessities, following up on covid scares and being a very present help in a time of need and crisis. Teaching is one of the most underpaid and thankless professions in the workforce today. We see this because many teachers across the country have left the profession to pursue other careers and I want to see our teachers get the best contracts and the best benefits that can be afforded to them. They shouldn’t have to come out of pocket for supplies or anything that helps their classroom be the oasis of learning that our scholars need to thrive. In today’s society and understanding that the competition is stiff with charter/private schools doing everything in their power to be more attractive, we have to beat the competition, we cant be as good as but we must be better than the competition! We have to find other funding and revenue streams that allow us to provide the packages and benefits necessary to not only recruit but to recruit the best. Good employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. We must be competent at every level of leadership because our teachers are on the front lines. I would focus on 3 key aspects of retention, timely communication, ensuring they have and can get what they need to be successful and to provide an engaging and safe classroom experience and showing appreciation and thankfulness regularly to ensure that they feel appreciated because that is also very important especially with the many duties that our teachers are tasked with.
Flint Board of Education meetings have become tumultuous and often inefficient. If elected to the board, what role will you play in returning decorum to the board and making it more efficient?
My campaign is focussed on unity! but until we achieve this my goal is to move business along on the meeting agenda. There is entirely too much division on our board currently and unfortunately is all due to back door politics. We have to do whats best for our scholars and the district and arguing back and forth for the duration of the meeting is not it.
In your opinion, what role does the Flint Board of Education play in improving academic progress of students in Flint Community Schools? Please explain any plan(s) to implement measures to improve academic progress.
I believe that understanding the importance of education is a 24/7 initiative and it starts at home. Our district is keeping up with local, state and national guidelines, our scholars have access to great education during school with our principals ensuring that instruction staff are working diligently to ensure that our scholars are ready for state tests and exams. Our scholars also have access to after school education through YouthQuest and other community education partners that work to supplement what students learn throughout the day. I would focus on the total learning environment by trying to increase the amount of active learning in the home and also supporting efforts for improving literacy and mathematics. Aside from the pandemic our scholars are still suffering from the effects of the water crisis and unfortunately we are beginning to see the mental and behavioral wear and tear that is starting to take its toll on our scholars. I would advocate to keep the many mental health resources that have been given to us by the state in the forefront and try to make it a priority for every family whether they were immediately affected or not because the onset of these symptoms sometimes aren’t clear or easily recognizable.