Iowa City school board: The cornerstone of democratic society

Born in Alabama, I grew up overseas in Saudi Arabia where female children were not considered citizens, and were therefore, not educated. This culture had a profound effect on how I valued education, particularly as a female, and later as a mother. It provided insight into how an educated population can influence a country. I strongly believe educated citizens are the cornerstone to a democratic society. I value the gift of a public education to all students. After having children myself, I became further convinced that being a part of the process was important — the idea of giving back to our community through civic engagement.

In the past four years, I have been deeply involved in various ways in the ICCSD including serving as PTA President, District Wide Parents’ Organization Co-President (DPO), the Magnet School Exploratory Committee, a member of several district hiring committees, and the ICCSD Foundation Board of Directors. Beyond our district, I have worked diligently within our community including managing the Toys for Tots Program across Johnson County, serving as a commissioner on the Johnson County Planning and Zoning board, and as a member of the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club. I have a broad service oriented background, and I believe in teaching my children about the importance of community by example.

The 10 year Master Facility Plan is critical to creating the capacity needed throughout the district and addressing long ignored older facilities that anchor our neighborhoods. I strongly support making a plan and following through with the promise — this is what makes a board effective, trustworthy and accountable to the public. Making decisions is difficult, and often unpopular, yet this is the essential job of the school board.

Back to the Basics — Reading and Math mastery are key ingredients to building on a knowledge base year after year. These become especially critical when the 3rd grade retention program is implemented next year. I will work with the administration to focus a sharp eye on what the school board can do to further support these critical areas of instruction.

Additionally, I will support the district investigating more eco-friendly options including solar, wind, recycling, composting at sites, and school gardens integrated into the curriculum.

This is a pivotal election for our district. With five seats open, we have an exciting opportunity to re-envision how the board can function as a team to move this district forward.

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