"I come from a family that has always valued education and a citizen's right to have their voice heard in government. The legacy began with my great-grandfather who received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in the 1950s. This was no small feat for an African American in the deep South at the time. I always knew I would go to college which I did and achieved my MBA in 1992. My mother has often told me stories of when my other great-grandfather took her with him to the polls to vote in the 1960s. Naturally, I promptly registered to vote when I turned 18 in 1986. Education and citizen's rights are cornerstone values in my life. I am prepared to work on your behalf as a trustee on the Northville School Board."
"I believe every child deserves a superior education."
Let me start by saying "I do believe science is real". As we all know, we are living in unprecedented times facing a global health crisis. While we all desire a return to normalcy, I believe we have to address the crisis in a proactive manner.
The central question is "how do we keep our children safe AND continue to educate them to our customary standards of achievement"? It's not an either-or proposition. It's both.
This discussion will need to continue beyond schools opening in September. I plan to use my experience from working on Ford's Health & Safety COVID-19 Taskforces to facilitate continued dialogue and collaborative problem solving for the benefit of our students, faculty, and staff alike.
I grew up learning that America as a "melting pot" was considered a strength. I believe it's time to reclaim and redefine this strength. Over the years the diversity in our country has grown. Northville is no exception. Research has shown that organizations that embrace and foster diversity and inclusion experience numerous benefits. In an academic environment, exposure to diversity improves cognitive and critical thinking; promotes safety and creativity; and prepares students for a global workforce. All (majority and non-majority) students share in these benefits.
I believe our shared goal should be to foster a climate in which each student feels personally safe, listened to, valued, and treated with respect.
Students of all ages are facing greater pressures than previous generations. Our kids not only have to deal with traditional challenges but their experiences are heightened by 24-7 exposure and access that comes along with advanced technology.
Some research indicates that there is a correlation between high achieving schools in affluent communities and increased mental health challenges. I do believe we should maintain our high academic standards. At the same time, I also believe we have a responsibility for the healthy development of the whole student. This includes academic, physical, emotional, and psychological well being.
In conversations with parents and students, I know these challenges are real for our community and deserve to be prioritized by the board.
A strong school system is vital to a thriving community. Likewise, an engaged community is essential to a successful school system. Northville benefits from active support of parents.
I plan to continue to engage and listen to parents. However, I am also committed to ensuring the voices of students, teachers, staff, and residents are also heard and considered when making decisions. I am a leader who values the input of the many versus the few in developing solutions. Together we can continue to enrich our community and prepare our children to prosper into adulthood.