Why I am running for school board
I am a wife, mother of three, and business owner. Born and raised in Indiana, I have lived in Fishers with my family for over 28 years. Our family has seen Fishers grow from 30,000 to over 95,000+ residents during that time. Our schools have also taken on similar growth accommodating increases in students, teachers, administrators, and budget.
My children have all attended Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools since kindergarten. My two oldest graduated from Hamilton Southeastern High School and continued their education at Purdue Ft Wayne (Jack) and Rose-Hulman (Nicole). Christian attended the same elementary school as his older siblings. COVID hit and, like many parents and teachers, we endured remote learning the best we could. The 10+ year age span between our older two and Christian gave me a unique lens to see how the administrative policies of our school district have negatively impacted our children and teachers.
When Jack and Nicole attended HSE Schools, the schools were ranked 4th in the state. Our schools were Blue Ribbon Schools. Now, they are ranked 16th in the state and continue to fall. Controversial political topics, activism, and ideology have taken precedence over literacy, mathematics, writing, science, civics, history, arts/music, and critical thinking. And our ILEARN scores show it!
I never thought I would run for school board. I trusted our schools and administrators to provide "best in the state" education with rigorous curriculum, not political activism and ideology. I trusted our schools to challenge my kids to be critical thinkers and excel in math, reading, science, arts, and civics. Somewhere along the way our schools lost their focus. I believe HSE schools need to redirect priorities to the core mission of academic education and earn back the trust of parents and the community. As our city continues to grow, we must:
attract and retain great teachers, faculty and staff;
improve our school district state standing to be in the Top 10;
dramatically improve our ILEARN scores (2021 HSE District Average 43.5% proficient in English + Math for grades 3rd-8th);
increase our ISTEP scores (2021 HSE District Average 62.9% - for 11th graders/juniors)
dramatically improve our literacy scores (currently 30% based on 2021 scores for grades 3-8);
We must successfully graduate students from HSE Schools with critical skills and competencies necessary to seize the innovative job opportunities growing across the state of Indiana in life science, energy, technology, manufacturing, and agriculture.
Academics, not activism!
It's time to set political ideology aside and focus on the state of education in Indiana and our school district; and direct energy, time and financial resources toward those efforts that improve the education scores and standing of our students. Educational attainment is paramount to the well-being of our students and community. We can and must do better for our children, our students, and our community.