“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, 
who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” 
-Rita Pierson.

 

As a former high school special education teacher, I understand the importance of having educators in every space where decisions are made regarding our schools. In addition, I know what it takes to build meaningful relationships among students, parents, and stakeholders to create efficient, engaging workspaces where every student can shine.

The Duties of the Board of Education: 

Our Board has three primary responsibilities: 

  1. . Hire/Instruct/Guide the Superintendent in delivering a high-quality education to all students 

  2.  Serve as the governing Board for our schools, collaborating to create policies that put our students in the best position possible for lifelong success. 

  3. School board members should be the most prominent advocate for our schools. Board members are responsible for keeping parents, the public, elected officials, citizens, and other business and civic partners informed and engaged in our school system. In addition, board members should advocate for the funding to recruit and retain the best teachers and support staff by being part of the community and actively sharing the school systems' needs, challenges, and successes!​

The issues at hand:

Fully funding our schools

The upcoming budget falls $443.2 million short of what a court-ordered budget recommends in the Leandro decision. Over the past decade, the North Carolina General Assembly's leadership has underfunded our schools annually. If the NCGA fully funds Leandro, Wake County Public Schools would receive the following to support our students: 

  1. An additional two hundred and ninety- one million dollars. 

  2. An additional eight hundred and thirty-seven more teacher assistants. 

  3. Nine hundred seven more nurses, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. 

  4. . One thousand four hundred sixty-two dollars per teacher to receive professional development. 

Our students cannot wait. It is time for the NCGA to fulfill its constitutional duty to fund our schools. Not only is investing in our schools a returned investment in our communities, but it is our legacy as Wake County residents and North Carolinians. For many years, our state led the country in bipartisan efforts to recruit and retain the best educators in the nation to provide a world-class education for every student. As the district with more Nationally Board Certified Teachers than any other district in our nation, we should be proud to reclaim our legacy of deep investment in public schools and pave the way for a strong future for Wake County and our state. 

Rebuilding from the pandemic

Rebuilding from COVID and dealing with the interrupted learning created during the pandemic is one of my top priorities. In addition, we must address the staffing shortages we are facing in the district. The pandemic highlighted numerous issues facing our schools, and we need to use these lessons learned to rebuild and re-imagine how to overcome our losses academically and emotionally. 

 

The school board is responsible for moving our district forward and ensuring that our staff has the resources they need to assist our students. I pledge to use my time, knowledge, voice, and vote to advocate for all our students and educators. I will work to be an effective communicator with parents and other partners in our community. I am passionately committed to seeing our students succeed, and I will work with all stakeholders to make this happen.

School safety

Our students perform better when they feel safe at school. In addition, safe schools are well maintained and create trust between teachers, staff, and students. 

Safe schools have well-staffed cafeterias and hallways where more students interact with less structure guiding those interactions. In addition, safe schools have staff well trained in keeping the school peaceful and trained in deescalating tense situations. 

 

Safe schools are not created with armed teachers at the classroom door. Instead, safe schools are created by students and staff building classroom communities to provide every student a sense of belonging.

 

Safe schools do not involve guns or arming teachers. Instead, they create a sense of belonging for every student.

 

Every student deserves to learn in a school community free from bullying, hate speech, or violence regardless of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, or religion. Similarly, our highly skilled staff deserve to teach in school communities that recognize their experience, professionalism, and contributions to student learning and success regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. 

 

Our LGBTQ+ students, families, and staff are valued members of our school communities and district. Right now, as they experience more aggressive words and actions denying or degrading their humanity, our district has a responsibility to make it clear that they will not be denied or degraded in our schools. I am committed to creating safer spaces throughout our district so that all of our LGBTQ+ students, families, and staff have equal access to learning and working conditions that nurture student growth.

Teaching the truths

It is TIME WE TRUST AND TREAT OUR TEACHERS as professionals.

Our students need to learn the truth about our nation's history. The NC Board of Education sets the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS), which defines the appropriate content standards for each grade or proficiency level and each high school, guiding instruction for history and all other subjects. A preamble written by the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction is included as a part of the approval of the new social studies standards. The preamble states that the standards are a framework intended to teach the full spectrum of history to best help students learn and use the information they acquire in the course of learning experiences. 

 

I support this approach to instruction that includes a commitment to academic integrity. As a former teacher for the district, I know that our teachers are committed to following the curriculum standards set by the State Board of Education. I am committed to the belief that every student receives quality instruction in all subject areas, including history, when our highly skilled teachers and support staff are provided with quality professional learning opportunities, meaningful feedback, instructional resources, and duty-free time for planning and grading.

If there is a question that our campaign has not addressed, please feel free to contact us at info@swansonforwake.com.