Occupation: Retired – State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Educational degrees and qualifications:
Graduate of Flint Northern High School, Mott Community College – Associate in Science, and The University of Michigan – Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration.
Why are you running for Flint Board of Education?
I currently serve as a Flint Board of Education Member as Secretary. I am running for a seat on the Flint Board of Education to continue to be an advocate for the students, teachers, parents and staff of the Flint Community School District (FCSD). I want to be a leader who led the district into the 21st Century. To carry out the mission and vision of the district to re-imagine a great change in how we educated our students and support our community.
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?
If elected, I will continue to support current efforts to manage school properties as follow: (1) Continue to renovate current buildings used to house students and staff. Currently there are 11 buildings that are in operation. (2) Approve the 13 school properties that organizations have submitted bids on. (3) Demolish buildings that the board decided will not be used and beyond repair. (4) There is a list of building no decision has been made on.
The FCSD are debt free as it relates to the school properties we still possess. There are no taxes due or any other debt. There is a future plan for a new high school and about 4 elementary schools.
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?
If elected to the Flint Board of Education, I will focus on plans to attract highly qualified teachers and staff to our district by working with the board and administration to increase the wages of teachers, our paraprofessionals, and other staff who work directly with students. As a board member, I would have to work with board members, Unions, and administration to negotiate a compliable wage. Many educators have masters and PHD degrees. School district must compete with companies who pay a higher wage without a college degree.
I have been included in the conversation regarding recruiting teachers and staff to the FCDS. Not many are applying. School districts nationwide are experiencing a major crisis attracting teachers to their schools. School districts are competing with other companies who pay high wages. I would like to host job fairs and attend college job/careers. Careers in Education should be introduced to our youth in middle school.
To retain highly qualified teachers and staff, they need to be paid a comparative wage, smaller class size, and be able to work in an education friendly, supportive environment. I will respect the teachers as educations and value their concerns.
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?
It is the responsibility of the board president to keep control of the meeting. As a board secretary, I have reminded board members to follow the agenda and to vote the agenda items. All 7 Board members signed a Code of Ethics that is contained in the Board’s by-laws. Each Board member took an oath of office to abide by those by-laws. You can address bad behaviors, but you cannot control another person’s actions. One way to return decorum to make the board more effective lies in the hand of the voters. Do you know who are voting for? How do they respond to issues in the community? How have they conducted themselves as a Board member? Do you have confident in the person you are voting for? I promise to conduct myself in a professional manner and to exemplify self-control. Each board member has individual responsibility to uphold. I can only be an example – not just for board members, but for student as well.
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.
In my Opinion, members of the Flint Board of Education play a vital role by making sure the vision and mission of the district is carried out. We want to produce a community of learners. Not just the student, but the parents and community as a whole. The board role is to oversee the operation of the district. We also make sure that the district is financially stable to meet the needs of the district.
The teachers, principals and administration have tools in place to measure academic progress. As member of the board, I review progress reports when submitted by staff. I chair the Academic Committee and the Assistant Superintendent provides updated and recommendations for the academic needs of the students/district.
In opinion, academic success of a students should be based upon individual student accomplishments. Meeting the student where they are and building on that.