Graduate of Mitchell High School
Public Educators Advocating for Kids
Public Education Committee
Colorado Springs Home Builders Association
Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS
Experience: I have served on the Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education for the last four years. Before that, I was employed by District 11, working with children with disabilities. While at District 11, I also served on numerous district committees, assuming leadership roles on many of them. I served on the Educational Support Professionals Council, serving as president for two separate terms. I then worked as the D11 ESP training coordinator. My other roles included Crisis Prevention Intervention instructor, Franklin Covey Certified facilitator and Co-Top instructor. I am very involved with the Colorado Springs community through volunteering and by serving and holding office on numerous boards and task forces. I volunteered with the Red Cross for five years as Disaster Action Team Leader. I was co-director of the Make-a-Wish Foundation for two years and served as co-chair of Women Helping Women, a sub-committee of Partners in Housing.
|District||Colorado Springs School District 11|
|Term / Board Seat||4 years|
|# of Available Seats||3|
Our district faces many challenges, but first and foremost, we must see that the Optimization of Utilization initiative we started last year is implemented smoothly and successfully. We must make sure we are utilizing our district resources to the best of our ability for the benefit of the students, the district, and its stakeholders. We must create and maintain safe and secure learning and working environments throughout our district. We must increase our graduation rate and decrease our drop-out rate. We are making progress in this area, but still have too many students who do not graduate. We are implementing programs to address this challenge. We must ensure a quality workforce by hiring the best teachers, administrators, and other highly qualified staff, so we need to increase salaries while maintaining benefits. We can meet these challenges with the synergy and expertise of our employees, creating a district without declining enrollment.
Even with budget constraints in place, I would want to concentrate on the challenges mentioned in Question 1. I want to ensure a smooth and successful implementation for the optimum utilization of all our facilities. I want to focus on safe and secure learning and working environments in every school and district office or facility. I want to increase graduation rates and decrease drop out rates for all students. I would concentrate on increasing salaries for all employees who are not up to market study standards. Prioritizing the funds available and providing the time needed to turn these priorities into realities will help us accomplish all of these things. I believe that by focusing on these areas, with the expertise of our staff, our student achievement will go up and our enrollment will follow. District 11 can be the District of Choice for the Pikes Peak Region.
If Amendment 66 passes, I would want a process in place to decide how the money would be allocated in District 11. That process should be similar to the process we have used for the last several years in making the necessary cuts to our budget. We have used a very inclusive and transparent process, involving the community, the parents, the students, and the staff of District 11. From that process the administration would prioritize the items to be funded, and the Board of Education would then decide how to allocate the funds. Our budget has been cut every year for many years, so any additional funds would probably not even put us back on track from where we were before the cuts. However, any funds provided would help us restore some of the items cut in the past.
High stakes testing in Colorado has been a moving target designed so that it would be extremely difficult for most districts to get beyond the 70 per cent student proficiency. If the majority of the students started to make proficiency and advanced status, the test would be renormed. I believe each district should have its own short-term assessments and benchmarks to determine if the students are indeed achieving a year or more of growth at each level. These assessments would be more valuable to the students, teachers, and the parents.
The Gazette Voter Guide is a chance for candidates to use their own words to tell voters in El Paso and Teller counties about themselves. The candidates answered questions relating to their biographical information as well as issues facing their school districts and cities. Answers have not been edited by Gazette staff.
For the guide, the Gazette reached out to every candidate running for political office for the Nov. 5 El Paso County and Teller County elections. Most, but not all, candidates chose to participate.