As part of filing my paperwork as a candidate for the Board of Education, I was given the opportunity to choose three words to characterize my campaign. The first word I chose was INNOVATION. Innovation is a new idea, method, or device or the introduction of something new. Verona is facing challenges in the coming years. One of the highlights of the Covid-19 related difficulties was realizing the wealth of knowledge and experience our residents possess. These same residents are passionate about their town, community and schools. As we face the coming challenges these residents should be tapped into to provide advice and support to the BOE. Whether its to discuss the needs of individual schools, buildings, or groups of students whose needs are not being met, parents and residents can be a source of information and help to the Board. They should be invited into the conversation, not just at prescribed times at public Board meetings, but wherever it is appropriate.
In addition to innovation coming from community and external sources, we need to support the innovation of our teachers and staff. As a parent I have been blown away by the creativity of our teaching staff. It is this innovation that can be a spark for students. My older child was not a fan of math. However, she had a teacher in 7th grade that awakened an interest in her. She started not only to enjoy math, but by the end of the year it was her favorite class. When she was able to combine it with her robotics elective, she ended the school year with the determination to be an engineer. All because her teacher took the time to think outside the box to present, what on the surface was a boring topic, in a way that was practical and interesting. As a member of the BOE, I will do what I can to support our teachers, staff, and administration innovate, inside and outside the classroom. It is important for schools to evolve and grow so that our students graduate ready to enter the world.