Support Mental Health
We are in a crisis of adolescent mental health, which has only been exacerbated by the disruption of the pandemic. By increasing our support network in the schools we will be able to improve student behavior, academic achievement, and create a culture that emphasizes valuing each student.
Mental Health Inventory
In order to make informed policy decisions the board and the district need to have a comprehensive picture of the problem. I will push for the district to administer a yearly survey designed to measure the mental health and happiness of our student body.
Our district currently has several excellent programs in place designed to support students’ social emotional learning needs and mental health. I will push for expanded funding and access to these programs.
Set Mental Health Policy
The school board sets high level policy and leaves it to the superintendent to implement these policies. If elected I would work to persuade my fellow directors to enact a guiding policy that directs the superintendent to elevate mental health issues and makes their implementation a key job objective.
Create Safe Schools
Creating a safe learning environment for students, teachers, and staff must be a top priority for the district. I will draw on my passion for mental health and experience as a first responder to be a persistent voice for innovation and accountability in this area.
Implement Know the Signs
Know the Signs is a free comprehensive violence prevention training program provided by the Sandy Hook Promise organization. This training is designed to teach students and adults the warning signs of violence and provides them with concrete steps they can take to prevent it.
Strengthen Public Safety Relationships
As a firefighter I know the value of receiving hands-on training in the exact kind of environment your skills will be tested. If elected I will work to provide expanded training opportunities in the schools for our city’s first responders. I will also push for deeper relationships between the district and our public safety entities around the areas of planning and preparedness.
Medical Training for Staff and Students
I believe the more individuals we have in a school that have some level of emergency medical experience the better. In a true medical emergency, minutes can matter. I will push for funding to allow any interested teachers and students to pursue EMS training so there are skilled individuals on our school campuses that can provide care before first responders arrive.
As elected representatives of the community, a critical part of the school board’s mission should be listening to the voices of their constituents. I will work to enhance access to the board and ensure we are hearing from the multitude of diverse stakeholders that make up our school community.
Lift Up All Voices
I believe it is critical for school district leadership to ensure that all the voices of our community are heard as we debate and create education policy. Part of this commitment has to be enhancing our outreach to groups that have historically not been represented so that their valuable opinions and perspectives are not lost.
Clarify Communication Channels
The board’s existing policy governing their relationship with the superintendent states that the superintendent is the board’s “sole official connection to the district.” I believe that this policy has been interpreted overly broadly by the board with the result that currently they are unable to hear a multitude of views. I would seek to clarify this policy to make it explicit that, while the board will not involve itself in administrative issues, it will seek to hear from all relevant stakeholders. This includes teachers, students, staff, and parents.
Enhance Public Outreach
If elected I will work to increase the board’s public presence at events and school functions as well as provide more opportunities for the public to directly interact with board members.