Why do you want to be on Jeffco’s school board?
It’s time for our Board of Education to stop fighting each other and start fighting for students. I have young children in these schools so I know how important it is to get this right. I want all students to thrive, and I’m committed to the Excellence, Transparency, and Cooperation that will take.
Will you work together with Jeffco Stakeholders?
Yes. Jeffco must have leaders willing to work with every stakeholder in the community including businesses, non-profits, local and community leaders, families, students and educators. I understand the importance of constant communication and will be a leader who listens and is committed to collaboration and ensuring we are always focused on best outcomes for all Jeffco students.
Do you support limited testing of students?
Yes. Assessments are necessary to measure student outcomes and to ensure they are ready for the next steps in their education. We need tools that support students, teachers, and excellent outcomes. In Jeffco, we need to reduce the number of tests currently given to students and focus on those that give teachers and families the best assessment of a student’s progress so we can ensure college and workforce readiness after graduation. Testing must not be used to create a culture of shame. Let’s put assessment to use for the good of students, collaboratively and efficiently. Additionally, let’s build our capacity as a district to look beyond tests to the opportunities and services we want all Jeffco students to have.
What will be your approach to Jeffco’s budget issues?
In Colorado, we can’t afford to spend our resources carelessly. Every dime must build student success. A Jeffco school board member must be committed to meeting obligations to all students, be informed about the options available, and be ready to listen to stakeholders. Jeffco has a legacy of strong stewardship thanks to Financial Oversight and Capital Asset Advisory work, district leadership, and community input. Collaborating is a key to navigating underfunded schools.
Do you support a salary increase for teachers?
Yes. We need to pay our teachers competitively so we don’t lose them. They are the most important ingredient to preserving Jeffco’s excellence. Teacher turnover is expensive; it costs us money and student learning losses.
How will you work with the Jefferson County Teacher Association?
I am committed to working with every stakeholder in the District to ensure the best outcomes for our students. Our teachers sacrificed to help our district and students by way of voluntary pay cuts and freezes during the Recession. It is important they have a seat at the table, and I’m prepared to make it a hot seat when it needs to be. Negotiations: Interest Based Collaborative Bargaining won our district national recognition and focuses decisions on what’s best for students. I hope this child-centered cooperation continues.
Do you support teacher evaluations?
Teachers want to work with good teachers. Teacher accountability works for kids best when it supports continuous improvement, not when it punishes and shames. Teachers must be involved in the evaluation and given clear goals for progress and improvement. Creating a collaborative environment for teachers to be successful in the classroom supports all teachers and especially those who choose to work in challenging settings.
Do you support Choice and charter schools?
Yes. Colorado is a choice state–and in Jeffco we have strong charter, option, and neighborhood schools. School choice is for families, not for politics or profits. Jeffco charter schools and students are our schools and students. Our district must hold all schools accountable for strong learning outcomes and strong fiscal stewardship, through systems of support and transparency. Jeffco’s challenge is to preserve and elevate equity, and all students, in our context of choice.
How would you support the growing diversity in Jeffco?
Diversity is an asset! Our school district is stronger for every diverse voice raised, employee hired, and child served. When our collaboration is informed by stories that include experiences of diverse ethnicity, gender identity, (dis)ability, and socio-economic level, we serve students better. In Jeffco, one-third of our students are living in or near poverty. Strong teachers in every classroom and closing the achievement gap are realistic goals to ensure excellence in every school.
Are you up to this?
The most common question I hear is, “Do you have thick skin?” I’ve birthed babies, finished marathons, and taught in middle school. Additionally, my family is 100% supportive of this endeavor on behalf of all Jeffco students. Love and stamina are great sources of strength.