When I first ran for the School Board three years ago, I never expected to spend more than half of my term helping to guide our school system through a global pandemic. In the fall of 2020, as the U.S. death rate from COVID-19 surged from 1,000 to over 4,000 each day, we watched as our federal and state governments struggled to respond, keep people safe, and mitigate the economic hardships felt by so many. The crisis made clear the importance of leadership: competent, trustworthy, responsive leadership.
While supporting my three children through their virtual learning in ACPS, I worked hard to represent parents, students, and staff: hearing concerns, asking hard questions, and driving ACPS to workable solutions while we navigated constantly-changing CDC guidance. I understood that our community is diverse and our tolerance to risk varies, which is why I sought approaches that balanced everyone’s needs. I pushed to get students back to in-person learning in the safest way possible. I’ve stood up for ACPS families and teachers, and I will continue to do so with your support.
It’s my belief that what our children need to recover from the pandemic is the same thing they needed before COVID-19: caring, professionally-trained teachers and support staff; safe, healthy buildings with adequate space; a rigorous and engaging curriculum; proven teaching methods; equitable opportunities; timely, evidence-based supports; and a focus on the whole child to include students’ physical and mental health. These will continue to be my priorities for Alexandria City Public Schools.