Back to Basics
We know the past two years have resulted in a lot of interrupted learning for our students. There are growing concerns around literacy and math proficiency. I am impressed with the way Knox County Schools has prioritized these issues and mobilized resources to address these challenges. This work, however, will take time and we must provide teachers and support staff the additional training, resources, and time they will need to put these plans into action!
We should commit to crafting a culture of curiosity for our students. A well-rounded education is more than a series of proficiency exams. Our goal should be to graduate life-long learners who will continue to explore and grow because of the firm foundations we lay during their time with Knox County Schools.
I want to recognize that a ‘ready graduate’ and success look differently for different students. Some of our graduates are going directly into the workforce, others will pursue further technical training and education, while others will attend colleges or universities in pursuit of their futures. All of our graduates will need to navigate the obligations of citizenship.
Schools and Communities Working Together
Our schools are at the center of our communities. We all have an important part to play in improving the health of our schools and the well-being of our students.
Students benefit from experiencing learning opportunities and grow in their own sense of self-worth when they know the broader community is committed to their social, emotional, and intellectual growth.
Recruiting and Retaining Excellent Educators
Education has always been a demanding profession. The pandemic made clear for many the width and breadth of the work undertaken by our teachers, support staff, and administrators. While they rose to every challenge, our current model of staffing is not sustainable . Teacher recruitment and retention must be the top priority for the next Board of Education.
I will explore how best to recruit new educators and support staff for Knox County Schools. We must also work to fully support their on-going development as professionals in the field.
I will advocate for processes to determine when and why some teachers choose to leave Knox County Schools or the teaching profession. We need a clearer understanding of our retention problem before we can hope to address the challenge.
I know that educators do the important work of educating students best when they are happy and find their work rewarding and fulfilling. I will work to engage with teachers, support staff, and administrators to discern how to best support the work they do and to identify those dynamics which sometimes prevent the work from being fulfilling.
A Transparent and Accountable Board
The Board of Education—and individual members of the Board—represent your voice .
I promise to provide regular updates about important matters coming before the Board of Education and to explain each and every vote I take.
I also commit to holding myself and my colleagues on the Board to high ethical standards.
I will serve as a thoughtful and informed colleague to the other members of the Board. I would strive to bring an Independent voice and a respectful and collaborative voice to the work of the Board.