As Vice Mayor of West Park and President/Founder of Visions of Images, Inc., a non-profit organization, I have proudly served our children, families, and businesses. As a long time community activist and educator, it has become abundantly clear to me that the destiny of our children in District One is tied to the resources and opportunities provided to them. I believe we are in urgent need of new and effective leadership for District One. I am that progressive and visionary leader.
I am deeply committed and passionate about educational excellence. Every child in Broward County deserves a superb education that will open up real autonomy and opportunity in life. They deserve a school system where each child develops the knowledge, skill, and mindset that makes them active, engaged, vital, contributing, and respectful members of society. And they deserve a school system where each of them will learn to read, write, think, speak, and act like the 21st century world citizens so they can thrive in our global knowledge economy and build the successful career of their choice.
My ABC Model is Accountability, Budget transparency, and Community partnership for transformation.
Everyone involved in the education of our most valuable resource—our children—should have clearly defined, measurable goals. If the expectations are known, measurements are taken, results assessed, and constructive criticism applied, our children’s education will improve. We must challenge and engage all students: English Language Learners and special needs students, high-performers, average learners and those who are ahead and those who are behind. We must ensure every 3rd grader reads on grade level, and every student graduates ready to compete and to succeed in college and the career of their choice. We must make early childhood education one of our top priorities in order to lay a solid foundation for our kids to learn. Making such an investment early on will pay huge dividends both for our kids and our entire community. My guiding principle is that ALL students will succeed, regardless of race, economic status, ethnicity, gender, language or disability.
Accountable to our teachers- Our teachers should be respected and engaged. Teaching is a prominent profession and should be valued and appreciated. We have to invest in recruiting, training, and retaining extraordinary educators so that every child learns from the best. We need inspiring principals who set high customer service standards with their staff in their buildings, and have effective teachers who set high standards in their classrooms. Effective teachers are the single-most important factor as we seek to challenge and engage all students.
There needs to be policies in place that ensure transparency so that parents and other taxpayers can see how their tax dollars are being utilized. By requiring accountability, we will promote fiscal discipline and ensure that the classroom is the beneficiary of the budget.
We need to retrofit old schools. We need technology for our children to, not simply compete with other students, but be a thriving, tech savvy adult, in this ever changing world. We need programs in place to build up our early learning students. We need resources for our teachers to have the necessary manipulatives to help our children be successful. We need to make sure that there is no discrepancy with the east and the west schools. We need to ensure all schools are great schools, regardless of your zip code. We need to ensure safe environments where children receive healthy foods and first class transportation to and from school. All of these things require spending dollars, and we as a community need to be cognizant that there may be some tough decisions that need to be made but all for the betterment of our children.
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS FOR TRANSFORMATION
Someone once said it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps the most important component of the ABC Plan is that the members of the community actively engage in the effort to improve the educational outcomes for our children. From parents to the religious community to business owners and community leaders, for maximum success to flow to our young people, everyone has to take an active role in the process. The School Board cannot do it alone. Being accessible and responsive is essential to earning your trust. With that being said, I will attend PTA, neighborhood, and community meetings to genuinely seek input. I will regularly visit schools to develop relationships with principals, teachers, students, and parents. Bottom line, it will take both time and a concerted effort to heal past wounds and regain trust in District One. But I am committed to making sure our schools and system operate with transparency and the highest ethical standards.
Together we can create a new culture for our schools, one that responds to the needs of our students, supports our teachers, and fosters building relationships with the parents and community at every level.
I ask you for your vote and your support so that I can work to implement the ABC plan, bringing our district to world-class status for all students to learn, grow and be successful in their life.