Guest Columnist

Garlock: Passion for public education runs deep

Cindy Garlock is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board at-large.

It is estimated that teachers make 1,500 educational decisions every school day. Each one of those decisions impacts student learning. After 33 years as a classroom teacher, I am well equipped to make decisions about public education and student learning. Just as I did in the classroom, I will make certain that students are always at the center of any decision I make on the board.

My life’s work has been in public education, both as a career educator in the district and as an advocate at our state legislature, speaking up for adequate public school funding and to defend collective bargaining. I have traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for policies that improve the lives of our children. My passion for public schools runs deep.

The vitality of a community has it roots in a strong public school system. Improving communication and transparency will help us create the strong community that we need. We can only provide students the very best opportunities for success if both our schools and our community work together.

Our students are diverse in many ways, from interests and aptitudes to cultural backgrounds and learning styles. While we appreciate and celebrate the diversity of our students, we must also acknowledge that inequities currently exist and address them in partnership with our community. We must ensure that ALL of our students are prepared to be successful adults.

Research tells us that our teachers are the single, most critical factor in student success. We must respect our staff by supporting their innovative ideas and by including them in decision making that impacts student learning. The work done by all of our staff should be respected and valued by the community.

Our facilities must reflect the fact that students learn in diverse ways. We need facilities that allow that flexibility. Learning occurs in large groups, small groups, and in project based settings where collaboration is integral to the learning. The use of innovative technology also puts new demands on our facilities. Updating our facilities will help ensure that students are getting the very best education we can provide as well as providing them a safe and secure environment.

I am the only educator in this race. With my expertise in education, my focus on students and my advocacy for public schools, I hope to serve this community well in ensuring that Every Learner is Future Ready.

Cindy Garlock is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board at-large.

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