I promise to keep this brief. It’s been a whirlwind 5 years in public education and from my vantage point on the Christina School Board it has been simultaneously tumultuous, successful, rewarding and frustrating.
Perhaps no other board member serving in Delaware has been as outspoken or as brash as I have. This has certainly cut both ways, but when you sit on a public body dedicated to moving the needle for children, you can’t just sit, you have to move. While I haven’t accomplished all that I wished to, I now see my service as a journey. One I would be honored to continue.
Among the successes I count: Board meeting audio recording, the offsite DAP homes, the medical clinic for the East Side of Wilmington in our District support center, the on time performance of negotiating contracts, and Christina’s ongoing dedication to unique programs and experiences for our students including but not limited to: DAP, DSD, ILC/Reach programming, NetWorks, FFA, Sarah Pyle Academy, Cambridge, Middle School Sports introduction, and all of our Arts programs in music, theater, chorus, as well as Jr. ROTC and Adult Education services via James Groves Adult School. Also, important to all of the above: running fiscally responsible budgets on behalf of all of our taxpayers.
The primary challenge to many more successes has been the unfortunate and pervasively ill-informed and poorly crafted policies of our state politicians and appointed education leaders. Specifically, we have been through and unprecedented period of ineffective leadership in the Governor’s office, two controversial and underperforming Secretaries of Education, and a state board populated by appointed cronies paralyzed by ideology, both theirs and the Governor’s.
Those that know me, know I have been critical of our state leaders, including to the point of crossing the line in describing their half-baked policies. It has included some key elected officials, namely, David Sokola, Darryl Scott and his predecessor, Theresa Schooley: education chairs in the Delaware GA. While I regret that my rhetoric has crossed the line of decorum at times, I cannot bring myself to apologize as they continue to embrace destructive policies informed by a narrow base of knowledge that has set the fury of misused and unvetted tests based on unvetted standards upon the innocent students AND teachers in our state. Frankly, it’s unforgivable.
So, if you vote for me, you’ll get a loud, sometimes obnoxious voice, to speak out against these continued incursions fronted by state leaders dangling federal monies with onerous strings attached. I promise that my voice will strive to remain well informed so that it may raise to the level of indignation necessary to the protect students from the imminent harm being foisted upon them.
As an aside to my supporters: my opponent in this election, Martin Nicholson, contacted me prior to filing to run against me. He asked if I wanted to serve again, and if I was ready to fight for these issues. I said I was and I also added: to not let that guide your decision to run. Democracy demands elections. I invited him to run. We spoke about decorum at length and we have both abided by our conversation. If you’re inclined to vote for me, then ask others to do the same, but please do not do so by tearing his candidacy down. I am certain he will ask the same of his supporters. I am happy to know that we share some key common beliefs about federal intervention and bad policy making despite likely differences in social and political policies that have NOTHING to do with schools. I do feel strongly that I am the right candidate to earn your vote. That said, I am happy he is in the race and I wish him luck.