The RoundTable asked the four candidates for the District 202 School Board to provide information about their education and civic activities and provide answers to three questions. RoundTable staff compiled the Thumbnail Sketch. The answers to the questions are in the candidates’ own words.
Background Summary: Master of Education, Loyola University Chicago;
B.A. History, Loyola University Chicago; Diploma in teaching, specializing in secondary education, Shortwood Teachers’ College, Kingston, Jamaica; currently teaches U.S. history, patterns of world history, and civics at District 113 Highland Park High School; previously a reading center clinician at Harry S. Truman Community College, an educational associate at Springman Middle School, and a social science teacher at St. George’s College in Kingston, Jamaica.
Civic Activity: current Board Member of the OAR Educational & Mentoring Scholarships.
What are you top two or three priorities?
Student Outcomes – particularly postsecondary outcomes for black and minority students. In order for ETHS to examine the extent to which it is or has been serving the educational needs for black and minority students, it must engage in longitudinal studies that follow students throughout their secondary and postsecondary years with an emphasis on understanding the trajectories of black and minority students. ETHS must engage in these studies that will provide data on where students are in 3 to 5 years after graduation. By doing so, it will really show how we are doing in preparing black and minority students for life after ETHS.
Equitable Distribution of Resources – Programs are equitably funded to provide students with access which enables them to excel academically, socially, and emotionally. Also, we must take a systematic approach to ensure that we provide the necessary support to our students and teachers for all students to succeed, and particularly those who are at risk of plummeting through the cracks. We cannot afford to leave any of our children behind.
Fiscal Accountability & Stewardship – ETHS must maintain a value-based budget which enables all students to maximize on all available programs. As a fiscally responsible district, we should get the best value education. We have the second highest expenditures per capita on students in the state. At the current levels, ETHS should be putting minority student achievement on the map nationally without exception.
What skills do you bring to the table that would make you an effective Board member?
I have spent my entire professional career as an educator working in a variety of educational settings ranging from elementary school through community college. Being the product of two very distinct systems of education, I bring a unique understanding of systems of education and governance. Currently, I am a public school teacher and I have firsthand knowledge and experience of what positively and negatively impacts the teaching/learning environment for our students. I also possess knowledge of educational equity and how to implement equitable programs aimed at improving the educational outcomes for all students. As such, I believe my expertise in the field of education will be an asset to the Board.
What are two major decisions that the Board has made in the past two or three years that you agree with or disagree with and why?
Support – Adoption of the haven resolution for the protection of undocumented immigrant students and their families. Why, as an immigrant, I am fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to live in this country and community. ETHS adopting such a resolution is a powerful and bold signal to our immigrant undocumented students and their families that we are your advocates and we are their allies.
Support – Approval of updated Title 1 School-Wide Plan. Why, it signals the school’s intent in continuing its fight in serving its low-income student population.