WHAT I STAND FOR
I am “life-time” committed to providing the best education I can for students, whether it was as an elementary or middle school teacher, assistant principal, principal or mentor for new teachers. Excellent education is my mission and the reason I ran for the Collier County School Board.
Over the past months there has been a vocal minority that disrupts school board meetings, not only in Collier County, but coordinated across the US, ostensibly to make changes in policies and procedures. However, most of the policies and procedures they want to change are controlled by the State of Florida, the Florida Department of Education and the Federal Government. I will follow the laws.
I look forward to being a member of a fully functional Board and continuing the successes of CCPS in the last four years, which has shown improvement in all critical measures. Because challenges are inevitable, we need to be flexible, communicate, trust and support our teachers and together we will continue to make positive progress.
* Competence * Dedication * Experience *
EXPERIENCE in K-12 Education
As a former middle and elementary school educator and administrator of 42 years total, I know how to do the job of the school board. Make no mistake, the role of the elected school board is difficult and requires a balanced experience and unbiased opinion in decision making. My opponents have no classroom or long term school employment of record. My opponents are closely tied to local organizations with extreme bias towards what they think should be in schools, not aligned with what educators and education experts think.
COMPETENCE and Duty
The learning curve to serve on the Board is steep, however, my previous experience on the Board is unique and helpful, which ranges from teaching at the elementary and middle school levels, Assistant Principal, Principal and Mentor of new teachers. During this time, I was honored to be recognized as a Golden Apple Teacher and Assistant Principal of the Year, and am a graduate of Leadership Marco, Leadership Collier and Leadership Florida. Few realize the "extra" duties of a school board member that we strive to complete and excel at.
Board member on the Florida State School Board Association (FSBA)
Vice Chair of the Collier County School Board
Achieved Certified Board Member status (non-mandatory in-service training)
Advocate for excellence in education both locally and in Tallahassee
Visited as many schools as possible and school events since 2018
DEDICATION to my Role
When I retired from education in 2015 I had breast cancer. As educators, we often forsake our own health for the role we choose as servants to the future adult that is a child today. Mine was no different as I wanted nothing more than to finish my final year as principal, then tend to my health. Once recovered, I was asked to run for District 1 of the school board, and I won and began my second foray into my education career and I love almost every minute of it. I am dedicated to making good decisions that support the students, parents and teachers of this district. My votes and voice on the board is strong among my colleagues and if you've attended meetings, you've seen that we do not always agree. WE are all dedicated, and the opponents of us are dedicated to their own agenda, not what is in the best interest of the district. Make no mistake, my opponents intend to disrupt the status quo for their own agendas spouting fear and rhetoric that has no place in schools.
College and Career Readiness
I'm proud of what Dr. Patton and the Board have accomplished in the last few years to promote BOTH pathways of student growth. We have supported spending to support expansion of Career and Technology Education and Entrepreneurship academies from high school and now down to elementary schools to expose students to the realm of possibilities in STEM and related service careers. During my tenure on the board we have also expanded into Golden Gate and the new iTech Glades Campus in a multi-county venture funded by our legislature and delivered personally to Collier by Governor Ron DeSantis this past year.
Collier Graduates are attending every major Ivy League school in the country as well as the amazing Florida Universities we have here. However, we all know that college is not for everyone and the continued support of trades in the Collier high schools, Lorenzo Technical and Immokalee Technical Colleges provide certification and experience pathways for students to start a technical job before they even graduate high school. Students at Lely High School can graduate with their pilot's license! I would love to have that opportunity. :-)
Maintain the "A" status for CCPS
The first step in getting CCPS to be an "A" district was selecting and maintaining a qualified school superintendent. Dr. Patton has worked tirelessly for ten years to meet the goals set forth in partnership with the school board and as a result, have raised the graduation rate to 92.2% and continue to outperform the state in 21 tested areas. Again in 2022, CCPS is an "A" district. Of course we cannot do that without the AMAZING educators we have in Collier County Schools. Make no mistake, teachers are the frontline and it is getting harder and harder to be a teacher in this day and socio-political climate.
A fact we must face is that the 10 year era of Dr. Patton is coming to an end and it will be the task of the new school board to search for and select a new superintendent who can continue the "A" status and keep the fringe political influence out of our school system.