#LetterToTheEditor #YourVoice #SpotlightNews
When my husband Matt and I first started talking about buying a house, the first thing we agreed upon was that it had to be in a good school district. Bethlehem quickly rose to the top of the list. We didn’t have any children at the time but we knew that a community with high-quality schools was the most important and defining characteristic of where we wanted to live and raise a family. We now have two children who have successfully navigated through Eagle Elementary and BCMS, and are now students at the high school.
I am certain that our school board has been, and continues to be, instrumental in ensuring that the students in Bethlehem receive the best education possible. Attracting and retaining quality teachers, administrators, and staff; upgrading technology such as Smartboards and Chromebooks; ensuring that facilities and vehicles are safe; and navigating budget shortfalls are just a few of the challenges that the school district continues to face.
Like other parents, I place the safety of our children as the top priority. It is nothing less than tragic that our sons and daughters are growing up in a time when lockdown drills are a necessity because of a very real and likely threat. Drills are not enough to deal with this terrifying epidemic. What are some of the warning signs that a violent or troubled student might exhibit? And most importantly, what are the teachers and administrators doing when they encounter these troubling behaviors? Equipping our teachers and administrators with classroom management techniques; ensuring that students feel comfortable sharing information that they have with adults and are aware of how they can do this; purchasing & installing security cameras immediately, and keeping a strong relationship with the Bethlehem Police Department are all key components to our district having safe schools.
We need to ensure the safety of our children so that they can focus on learning and growing into capable and responsible members of our community. In addition to a challenging curriculum, Bethlehem prides itself on offering a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Athletics, performing arts, and social clubs help our students become more disciplined, encourage teamwork, and show them that they are part of something greater than themselves. Reaching both the at-risk youth and propping up the students who are working so hard to be the best they can be, our educational programs need to focus not just on traditional learning but also health and psychological wellness. Our youths’ post-secondary readiness is dependent on our schools meeting the needs of all students, regardless of their abilities and backgrounds.
I would like the opportunity to serve you and the students of our district as a Board Member.Recent time spent in our schools as a substitute teacher has given me an inside view of the daily challenges faced by both students and teachers. As a Human Resources professional with more than fifteen years of handling sensitive personnel issues, a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Labor Relations, I have the skills and experience to help the Board navigate the myriad of issues that they face as they seek to advance student outcomes.
What I promise to you is that I will have an open mind, listen to all stakeholders (all residents, students, teachers, administrators), balance needs and concerns, and build consensus.
Thank you for taking the time to vote on Tuesday. I hope that you will support me and write-in my name:
because I truly believe that there is nothing more valuable than the education of our children.