Now, it’s no secret that I was opposed to the $64 million bond, and that has caused some people to wonder if I should serve on the building committee overseeing this work. To me, this is easy to reconcile.
I have a strong interest in education. My undergraduate degree is in secondary English education, and in addition to teaching writing and literature classes to students aged ten and up for over twenty years, I have also written books for middle-grade readers and young adults and created numerous teaching, learning, and support materials for educators and students. Lifelong learning is a passion of mine, and I firmly believe that free, accessible, and excellent public education is an essential cornerstone in any society that wishes to have an informed and engaged electorate. But those aren’t the only reasons I’m pleased to be serving on the school building committee.
As much as I didn’t enjoy homework as a much younger person, I seem to really have taken to it in my adult life. I thoroughly enjoy digging into the details of an issue or project, and I know that’s going to be an important part of the committee’s work. As we navigate the construction process, we’ll need to make hard decisions to ensure we address the most critical needs at each school without going over budget. There are four schools whose renovations must be completed from this one pot of money, and logistically they cannot all be under construction at the same time. Therefore, we must be certain that there is adequate funding not just for the first and second schools to be renovated, but also for the third and fourth when their turns come.
We’ll also need to pursue a construction timeline that results in the minimum disruption to education; choose contractors with a strong track record and proven expertise at completing these types of projects; and work closely with industry professionals and city staff to sort through a great deal of information. And we’ll need to do all of this while ensuring that the teachers and students living and learning in these construction zones have what they need to succeed.
It’s clear that we have a big task ahead of us, but I am ready to jump in. I am honored to serve on this committee, and I am committed to collaborating with the other committee members as we work together to achieve the best possible outcomes at each of these four schools. I sincerely thank the school board for appointing me to this position.