Q & A -
Why are you running for school board?
Running for Hamilton Southeastern School Board, District 3
The most important responsibility of school boards is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local public schools. In compliance with state and federal laws, school boards establish policies and regulations by which their local schools are governed.
*NOTE: as reported in vote411.org
What is your occupational background?
25 years experience in corporate roles in business development and executive leadership working with companies from startups to Fortune 500s in various sectors including education, workforce development, government, life science, healthcare, and IT/tech
What political office(s) have you held in the past?
ELECTED: GOP State Convention Delegate (2022) - in this role I represented my voting constituents at the state convention and cast ballots that choose the Party’s nominees for elected office in the state of Indiana. NONELECTED POSITIONS: Commissioner with the City of Fishers Advisory Plan Commission (current); Fishers Housing Task Force (current)
What is your education background?
I hold a master’s degree from Ball State University in Health and Wellness Management, and bachelor’s degree in Communications from Hanover College. I also have many certifications and leadership trainings in Indiana Health & Life Insurance; Resilience training from National Wellness Institute; Yoga and group fitness instructor (30 years); The Policy Circle Leadership Training; Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service;
Why do you wish to serve on school board?
I became aware of decline in the academic rigor of our schools as reflected in our poor state academic standings. We must successfully graduate students with critical skills & competencies necessary to help them be successful in the next phase of their lives, whether it be college, trade school, or workforce. My two oldest graduated from HSE High School & continued their education at Purdue Ft Wayne and Rose-Hulman. Our youngest attended the same elementary school as his older siblings. COVID hit and, like many parents & teachers, we endured remote learning. The 10+ year age span between our older two & youngest gave me a unique lens to see how the admin policies of our district negatively impacted our children and teachers. Our schools were ranked 4th in the state when my older two attended HSE. Now the district is ranked 16th & falling. Controversial political topics, activism & ideology have taken precedence over literacy, math & English - our ILEARN & IREAD scores show it!
What role do you see the school board playing in the school system?
School board has 3 responsibilities - 1) oversee the budget 2) superintendent 3) create policy. BUDGET: In Hamilton County where HSE Schools are located, HSE Schools are the LARGEST taxing authority in the county -- more than Hamilton County, Carmel-Clay Schools, Carmel Civil City, Noblesville School Corporation and more. HSE has a quarter Billion dollar budget and $131 million levy. These are big dollars, and we must elect fiscally smart people on the board. 2) SUPERINTENDENT - in short, work closely with superintendent to outline goals of district including policy, budget, curriculum (goal: raise math, reading & English proficiency of students across district; evaluate CTE offerings & career pathway development) - ensure we attain those goals. POLICY: establish policies for curriculum transparency, student behavior, academic rigor & excellence. Lastly, collect data around ways to attract, retain & reward high performing teachers and staff that helps HSE achieve its academic goals.
What do you consider your best personal skills or traits that will help you in this position?
Previous leadership positions (past 20+ years) in for profit and nonprofit organizations education, tech, government, healthcare and economic development; leading and managing teams; financial/budget oversight and responsibility during times of rapid growth and downturn (recession, pandemic, merger/acquisition); resilient leadership during times of significant change (recession, pandemic, merger/acquisition)
What role does the school board play in establishing social and racial equity in the schools?
The role of the school board is tied to the 3 responsibilities noted earlier. Social and racial equity is a policy issue. Establishing policy that ensures ALL students have equal access to learning tools and resources to be academically successful. Focus should be on helping all students achieve minimum proficiency in math, English and reading to successfully advance from one grade level to the next - and ultimately graduate high school. Those minimum levels are quantified by the Indiana State Dept of Education.
What safety measures are being used to improve school safety, specifically related to gun violence? Would you change anything? If so, what would you change?
Currently, resource officers are being utilized. However, I would like to see resource officers increased to one resource officer per school across the district to ensure school safety. Education and professional development for teachers and staff with Fishers Police Department can help ensure a collaborative partnership is strengthened and continues, and violence prevention measures established. I would also investigate other preventative measures to ensure safety of students and faculty.