Schools and student learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The COVID-19 pandemic put our school district and many schools around the nation in an unprecedented situation requiring board members, administrators, and teachers to think out-of-the-box to ensure that our children's education is not harmed as we navigate through this situation.  As a board member, I'm committed to working with our administrators to create an environment that is not only safe and, at a minimum, meets the county's health guidelines, but also create the best learning opportunities for all our students.  These are challenging times that demand smart, engaged leadership.  

How would you define the role of a MVLA board member?
The role of an MVLA trustee is to establish and represent the vision for the district.  While embodying this vision the board must carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Hire and evaluate the superintendent
  • Adopt and oversee the annual budget
  • Adopt policies that give the district direction to set priorities and achieve its’ goals
  • Manage the collective bargaining process for employees of the district
  • Lead as a united team with the superintendent
  • Maintain an effective organizational structure that lets the superintendent and staff manage the schools, teachers teach and students learn.

 Moreover, to be an effective board member, listening and analytical skills are the most important tools.  The goal of an effective board member is to learn to ask better and better questions.  This is the only way to achieve the continuous improvement we were elected to achieve

How do you see the relationship between the school board and teachers?

I view the responsibility of a school board member to set the vision and goals for the district and adopt policies that align with this vision.  Our role on the board is not to micro-manage the teachers but to work with them to create an environment in which student achievement can be raised and provide the students the framework to compete in this new global economy.  To achieve this we need effective leadership and not that of top-down approach but rather an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual support that enables all to realize the district’s vision

What is your support for under-represented students?

​Supporting our under-represented students is vital for our growth, diversity and educational aspirations.  One of the main reasons why our country is as great as it is, is because of our public education system and it accepts and promotes students from everywhere and gives them the tools to achieve their potential.  When I wanted to start a chess program at Mistral I was told that it may not do well at this school, but they were wrong.  It became one of the strongest after-school programs in the school and was always one of the programs that sold out the quickest.

What is the role of data in making decisions?

Collecting and analyzing data is an extremely important tool in helping us guide our priorities, gauge our progress, and provide a metric to the community on how we are doing.  As a trustee, we need to understand the metrics and look at them