Over the last several months citizens everywhere have been reviewing and listening to discussions about public education and the impact of the pandemic on students and educational staff. Concerns raised include low academic performance and the widening equity gap, social emotional digression and trauma following neglect, abuse and loss, child hunger and homelessness following the lost employment, staff shortages, inadequate infrastructure including poor ventilation and lack of broadband connectivity and budget shortfalls due to low student enrollment.
As a school board member, I am grateful for renewed civic engagement and interest in public education. I sincerely hope this renewed engagement continues and that it remains positive and collaborative with an eye toward sustainable change that results in quality and equity for all youth. I also hope we maintain a willingness to celebrate wins big and small and that we remain patient with one another knowing change will not come overnight. I’ve had the honor of serving as a school board member for APS, representing District 1, which spans the South Valley and includes the Atrisco Heritage and Rio Grande high school clusters.
I look forward to welcoming the four new school board members after the election and make a commitment to continue to work collaboratively to address the issues before us. Solutions and changes we need now will be challenging to address and they will not all be easy to fund. I make a commitment to continue to value the passion and ideas from our school staff, parents, students and community and promise to respect their desire to create a public education experience that values and meets the needs of all children.
Students and staff deserve to be in buildings that are healthy and safe and built to support state-of-the-art technology; they deserve access to quality educators and instructional resources, tools and materials; and they also deserve support services to meet challenges and barriers impacting learning.
Public education is a “team sport” and requires collaborative partnerships at all levels to meet all these demands. The first level of partnership begins with the “team” made up of the school board and the superintendent.
We must commit to build and maintain a team based on mutual respect led by shared decision-making and integrity, and we must further commit to support and promote a common vision and message that lets the community know, “We see all of you, we hear all of you and we value all of you.”
Thanks in advance for closely reviewing the candidates running for school board and for voting. There is so much to do and I know we can and will get much accomplished if we work as a team.