Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum
February 4, 2022
I was recently invited to Women in Leadership (WIL) forum to discuss my stances on three particular topics:
❶ What do I consider the biggest challenge for Edmond Public Schools and how do I plan to address it?
❷ What is the role of parents and what would I do to encourage their participation?
❸ How would I address civility and external views in the board meetings and media?
I appreciated the questions as they focused on substance, and as I seek to earn your vote, I am compelled to share my answers with you.
The biggest challenge in my views that the school system faces is the city's growth. Edmond is growing exponentially and changes in the school system must follow with the same trends. The housing demand in the Edmond area has outpaced supply and there are currently newly-formed or young families with small children choosing to settle in Edmond to attend our schools. Which leads to my other two platform points: it's important to develop strong early childhood education and vote 'Yes' for bond propositions next week. As a board member, my focus is not only currently tackling the problems of the future, but also the current problems such as teacher shortages, building capacity, and education quality.
I have spoken extensively about the role of parents in education. Not only parents should get involved in their child's education, but must become the school's extending arm at home. The relationship school-parent must be a three-prong triangle of teachers, administration, and parents. This approach ensures that support is child-centered and learning is geared individually based on child's needs. For instance, administration must develop channels of communication to invite parents and work at convenient times for parents in parent-teacher conferences. During these conferences, teachers must develop personalized contribution learning plans for parents to follow through when at home. This unison approach ensures that parents stay engaged with classroom teachings while also enforcing and reiterating it at home.
Initially I misunderstood the questions and talked about student behavior. My goal is to provide a full comprehensive answer on this post so you can understand how I plan to tackle this issue. Civility that I seek and tend to enforce as a board member is based upon RESPECT. This is the benchmark and my expectation for any parent or concerned citizen that would like to address issues to the board. We can't build bridges by being offensive or intruding on the board's job. Respect is the basic starting point. There are multiple ways and channels of communication and tone to address the point and discuss about it on great lengths. As a board member, I vow to demand that every person, no matter how passionate they are about specific issues, bring issues forward respectfully and with the intention of solving problems. As a result, my stance is to focus on the substance and leave the noise outside of board meetings. Remember! The goal is to provide and improve high quality education to our children, and if those conversations lack respect or a cohesive narrative towards that goal, we shouldn't take them into account. Parents are always welcome to attend board meetings and express their thoughts and concerns. Additionally, these concerned must be channeled cohesively in ways that we can act upon within authority and pivot to make better-informed decisions for our children.
At the beginning of my campaign, I vowed to advocate for students, parents, and teachers, and do that through a transparent, inclusive process. My goal has still not changed and nor it will.
I intend to represent all parents despite of political learnings, and I plan to do so unapologetically, regardless of the personal attacks. My goal is surgically-focused on working to deliver high quality education for EPS students, and I intend to do relentlessly for the next five years.
This is my promise to you now and for the next five years.