A school director’s job is to represent the voice of the community. I’m not campaigning to implement a personal or political agenda. I’m campaigning to ensure that each of our students is given the structures and supports they need to learn and grow. I’m campaigning to ensure that our entire community is engaged in decision making in our District.
The time I’ve spent as a classroom volunteer, a PTA board member, and an active advocate for education have helped me form some strong opinions about the things I’ve seen that work well, and the things I’ve seen that need to be improved. I’m sure that each of you have your own opinions, and we might not always agree. I want to hear from you. I want to know what has worked best for your students, for your classrooms, and for your schools. I want to know what hasn’t worked. Over the last 17 years I’ve seen my sons have successes and seen them have to face challenges. My experiences aren’t yours, though, and we can learn from each other.
Every school board in our state has adopted policies that define the role of the board and the school directors. Puyallup’s board adopted its key functions in 1997, and most recently revised those functions in 2012. The role of the board is to connect our community to our schools in support of our students. At its core, the board must ensure that “students will have ample opportunity to achieve their individual and collective learning potential.” The key functions adopted by the board to meet that goal are:
Vision and Responsible Governance:
The board, with participation by the community, will envision the future of the school district’s educational program and formulate goals, define outcomes and set the course for the school district. This will be done within the context of racial, ethnic and religious diversity and with a commitment to educational excellence and equity for all students.
Structure and Creating Conditions for Student and Staff Success:
To achieve the vision, the Board will establish a structure which reflects local circumstances and creates an environment designed to ensure all students the opportunity to attain their maximum potential through a sound organizational framework. This includes employing a superintendent, developing and approving policies, formulating budgets, setting high instructional and learning goals for staff and students, and nurturing a climate conducive to continuous improvement.
High Expectations for Student Learning:
The board will continuously articulate the belief that all students can learn and that each student’s learning can improve. The Board will act as leaders of a vision of shared learning that is supported by individual schools and the community.
The board’s accountability to the community will include adopting a system of continuous assessment of all conditions affecting education, including assessments for measuring staff and student progress towards goals. The public will be kept informed about programs and progress. Staff and board training will be provided to ensure continuous improvement of student achievement.
Advocacy and Community Engagement:
The board will serve as education’s key advocate on behalf of students and their schools. The Board will work to advance the community’s vision for its schools, pursue the District’s goals, encourage progress and energize systemic change and ensure that students are treated as whole persons in a diversified society.Puyallup School District Policy 1005
I will always act with a commitment to educational excellence and equity for all students. I will work with the other members of the board to create an environment that supports continuous improvement. I will have high expectations for student learning. I will strive to keep the public informed about our programs and the progress we make. I will hold myself and others accountable for continuously improving student learning. I will be an advocate for our students and their schools. I will ensure that each of our students is treated as a whole person, and celebrate what they add to our diversified society.
I cannot do those things without your engagement and support. If you know of somewhere that the District is failing its commitment to excellence and equity, I want to know about it. If the District is failing to support continuous improvement, I want to change that. If you don’t feel you’re being informed about the progress being made, tell me. Just as I have been an advocate for my sons and for public education over the last 17 years, I welcome your advocacy. Our students will benefit when we work together to celebrate their value and what they add to our community. I can’t wait to get started.