Director, State College Area School District Board

Philosophy and Priorities

Recently, I read a New York Times piece by Nikole Hannah-Jones that describes the shift in the way we collectively, as a nation, have begun to think about our public schools. She laments:

“We began moving away from the ‘public’ in public education a long time ago. In fact, treating public schools like a business these days is largely a matter of fact in many places.”

She goes on to note:

“The glaring reality is, whether we are talking about schools or other institutions, it seems as if we have forgotten what ‘public’ really means.

“The word derives from the Latin word publicus, meaning ‘of the people.’ This concept — that the government belongs to the people and the government should provide for the good of the people — was foundational to the world’s nascent democracies.”

As a member of the school board, I am committed to the public good of our public schools. I think we, as parents, educators, and citizens, have a duty to recognize our shared purpose in ensuring that the education our children engage in will strengthen our communities and our nation.

I believe it is our job to provide the context and tools for that to occur. To fulfill this promise, as a member of the SCASD School Board, I will work to:

  • Oversee Responsible Financial Stewardship

    • The needs of our district have been a tremendous challenge to our community. Predicting financial need for clear-eyed, long-term planning must always be a priority. It’s a primary trust that is bestowed on those elected. Our children’s potential, our money: neither should be squandered.
  • Provide Diverse Opportunities for a Diverse Student Body

    • A significant motivation for my interest in running is my experience as a mom, a friend, and an educator. I have seen the need for attention to be given to a wide range of interests, abilities, and challenges. A student who is college-bound, a student for whom a college education doesn’t fit, a student who has great abilities outside the classroom but who struggles inside, a student on the autism spectrum, a student whose daily personal needs struggle to be met… all these young people should know that, no matter who they are, their schools can and will provide inspiration and a range of opportunities for them.
  • Cultivate Excellence in Teaching at Every Level, Every Subject

    • Our teachers often spend more time with our kids than we do during a school day. To do their jobs, we need to listen and provide them–to the greatest of our ability–the means to feel supported and successful every day they walk into their classrooms. Our best teachers should be lauded. Our new and struggling teachers should find encouragement, mentorship, and guidance. Our principals should be empowered to build the kind of community in their schools that facilitates these ends.
  • Engage Residents’ Ideas & Talents in Decision-Making

    • We’re lucky. We live in a community that has shown support for its schools time and again. To capitalize on this passion, we should strive to make the work of the district as visible as possible, and invite members of the community to share their time and talent to help inform and prioritize district decision-making.