Position sought: Director, Pine-Richland School District
E-mail address: email@example.com
Address: 414 Lenox Court, Gibsonia, PA 15044
Family: Husband Mark, Jared (16), Laila (14), Haley (12), Colin (8), Colby (8)
Education: Carnegie Mellon University: BS in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, BS in Industrial Engineering, and MS from Graduate School of Business Administration (graduated summa cum laude)
Related experience: As a management consultant for Fortune 500 companies across North America and Europe, I was responsible for working with senior executives to develop innovative and new business strategies so their organizations would remain leaders in their industries.
Among other things, I helped organizations define and link their long-term vision and short-term goals, led customer focus groups [and] led teams of employees (including union representatives) to develop better business processes and reduce costs.
My clients included DuPont, Texaco, PraxAir, New York Life, Arizona Republic, Bank of Scotland and Prudential.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office? Although I believe the P-R schools are outstanding, there is an opportunity to improve the way in which the school board and administration define their long-term vision and short-term goals, and then have every decision linked to well-communicated, clearly defined, academic and business objectives in support of their vision and goals.
My background in business strategy and change management is well-matched to this need, and I am uniquely poised at this point in my life to give the position the commitment it deserves.
I am passionate about education because I believe it is a great gift that opens many doors, and I would love to see every child develop a lifelong love of learning.
Although I do not have any formal education or experience in education, my academic vision includes: an increased focus on the quality of learning over the quantity; the application of visual, auditory and kinetic learning techniques; a reduced focus on test-taking and increased emphasis on reading comprehension and applied knowledge; an integrated classroom, music and art as core courses; and a selection of curriculum offerings at the high school level that best supports the secondary school choices of our students.
I also strongly support the A.W. Beattie Career Center and its mission. Finally, as college is the end goal for most P-R students, I advocate a more integrated program to assist students in the college selection and application process.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected? In short, my first priority is to get a much bigger "bang for our buck" when it comes to education spending.
I immediately support reducing the number of school days to the minimum and putting a freeze on all facility expansions and technology upgrades.
I am deeply concerned that the millions upon millions of dollars that have been spent in recent years on capital budget items have led to a gradual increase in class size and reduction of para-educators. I believe that the investment in human resources is the best use of our dollars and is critical to our mission of excellence in education.
What sets you apart from other candidates? As the parent of five children, ages 8 through 16, representing Richland Elementary through Pine-Richland High School, I have a fairly firsthand understanding of the curriculum, policies and activities. I can identify directly with issues as diverse as the wellness policy at the elementary level, class size at Eden Hall, field availability for Pine-Richland Middle School sports or grading standards at the high school.
I also think that coming from a background as a management consultant who helped organizations implement large-scale changes in policies, procedures and structure, I have a unique background with regards to obtaining stakeholder (in this case parent, teacher and taxpayer) input and morale.
Also, my experience in developing new business strategies has taught me to work “out-of-the-box”; a skill that will be increasingly valuable as finances become tighter.
What's your favorite thing about the community? My husband and I, with my sister and her family, have made Pine-Richland our home. I thank God every day for the wonderful neighbors and friends who surround us.
What is the biggest problem facing the community? I feel that we do have two equally major opportunities within the Pine-Richland community that I can impact.
First is in the area of communications from the School Board. Our current members devote long hours to their decisions, but often the community does not strongly support those decisions, and I believe morale is low in the community.
I would like to formally have the board implement a two-way communication system for interested members of the Pine-Richland community, focusing on relevant information about change from the incubation stages through implementation.
The goal would be to make sure the community understands the objective of each initiative, the decision-making criteria, the timing of key decisions and how to make their voices heard.
The second problem facing our community is that of our pre-teens and teens as they strive to find their place in the social structure of the ever growing, highly competitive P-R School District.
Academically, social disruptions create barriers to effective learning. Developmentally, students with a supportive circle of friends will make better life decisions. The easiest way to establish relationships at the middle-school and high-school level is to utilize the natural interests and hobbies of the students as a fluid way to allow social networks to develop.
I would like to initiate an assessment of the current student activities and clubs, competitive and intramural sports against a matrix of our student body to identify where we are doing a good job and where opportunities lie to bring students together.
This is a major initiative, but [if] done with proper community involvement would not involve any costs but [would] reap immeasurable benefits.
To break down the social and bullying issues that disrupt learning at the Eden Hall level, I would like to establish a program where high school students guide and mentor the upper elementary classes.