By way of introduction, I am a retired public health educator and emergency planner who worked for the City of New York’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene before starting a consulting business with my husband, a retired U.S. Marine gunnery sergeant. My expertise took me across the country to work with communities and the private sector assisting with the writing of public health plans and training in many facets of emergency response during a pandemic. I have extensive experience with curriculum writing, review, and implementation.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, I was vocal about my disappointment in the leadership at the state level, including the Virginia departments of health and education, and in their refusal to implement plans or parts of plans designed and tested for such an event. When the public schools started to be affected, I expressed my concern about the decisions being made which would greatly, and perhaps, irreparably, impact the school children of Virginia.
Having worked with multiple departments of education, district administrators and boards of education, my experience told me online learning would not be an acceptable and sustainable substitute for in-person instruction. Although, the county felt satisfied this decision would meet all the needs of all students, I pushed back and demanded to understand how they were going to meet the needs of children/teens with ADHD and other special learning needs.
I offered my expertise free of charge and to provide the school board with other options that were more cost effective and would provide all students and parents with easily implementable and safe solutions to continued education of their children without limitations. Instead, they spent countless dollars on buying computers and supplies to sanitize schools while spreading fear and misinformation.
My decision to run for the board of education is because I believe our children deserve better than what they are being provided. Over the course of the past few years, the public school system has continued to lower educational standards to manipulate greater positive outcomes. Education doesn’t work that way. Our children shouldn’t be held captive to politically motivated curriculums.
Stafford County has continued to grow in population, exponentially, as builders have taken advantage of massive amounts of land for sale. Yet, the county has failed to act on building a sixth high school to accommodate our children. Each board meeting finds us with another plan for what the school will look like and all the bells and whistles a state-of-an-art educational facility. But no definitive plans to get it done!
Meanwhile, our teacher to student ratio is through the roof with many schools operating at over 100 percent capacity. This is not the educational environment our students and teachers deserve. It must stop. Our teachers need our support. We entrust our children to them, at some of the greatest and hardest times of their lives.
I ask you: where is our money is going; because it is not going to your teachers or to new schools that we’ve been promised over and over again.
At home, I teach my children, by example, to be the change that want to see in the world. My son graduated last month, but my seven-year-old needs a strong and competitive educational environment that is going to challenge her to be the best version of herself. It’s not going to happen while we allow the current board to wag the dog with curriculum discussions, like CRT.
I’ve had enough of empty promises and the continual indoctrination of hate-related curriculums. Enough is enough. Our children and our teachers deserve better than this.
I don’t enter this race for school board thinking it will be easy to change the conversation and how things are currently being done. In fact, I know it will be almost impossible and that’s OK because I believe in the underdogs and have the work ethic to help make sustainable change that will benefit our community and most importantly, our children who are the future.