Family: Wife - Erica; Daughter - Angelina (4 months old)
Occupation: Director for an educational non-profit
Education: Bachelors: North Carolina State University, Masters in Education: University of Georgia
Political Experience: Current candidate for Duval County School Board. I have not held an elected/public office.
What do you see as the top three issues in this race?
- Innovation/Technology - If we are going to prepare our students for college and careers of the 21st century, we need to need to stay up to date with the technology. Technology and innovative techniques need to be integrated in our schools and classrooms. We have to create technology-rich environments for our students to engage with on a daily basis. We should focus on technology improvements and additions through both public and private funds. We also have to ensure teachers and staff have real-time training and development around the technology used in our schools. As a former teacher, I know how quickly technology becomes obsolete. With this understanding we have to ensure the development of our teachers and updates to technology coincide.
- Budget/Fiscal Responsibility - With the school board budget being so large, this race should focus on where and how we prioritize spending. As a board member, I would prioritize spending on people and programs that are in direct contact with students. I would look holistically at our resources to ensure both direct and indirect services are analyzed for effectiveness while maintaining emphasis on direct student impact. I would give attention to making sure we have a balanced budget that focuses in on our strategic priorities including Human Capital and Innovation. We should also take a look at board member spending to ensure we are being responsible with taxpayer dollars.
- Connections/Collaboration - One of the main issues confronting the city is connecting our community around the common goal of creating a quality education for all students. There are many excellent organizations working daily to improve the lives of our students and their futures, and my vision as a bridge-builder, is just that, rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, I can serve as the support structure to help bring the various groups together to maximize our collective impact. This is how I had to operate as a military brat, and it has become one of the foundations of my adult and professional life. I listen with an open mind to seek to understand the perspectives of others. I will create access points for myself and the community. We have to build a balance on the board where we challenge and support each other and the superintendent to reach our goals. We sometimes get so focused on our individual districts that we forget about the importance of coalition building and best practice sharing.