As your representative on the school board, I will work with my six colleagues on the board to set the district’s priorities and broad vision. My decisions will be guided by three values: Responsibility, Equity, and Transparency.
I’m proud of the work our district has done to promote these values. However, I also know that the district is facing serious challenges, such as student mental and physical health, enrollment, and academic achievement. The pandemic has been hard on schools and kids all across this country. I believe that we in Ames have the talents, skills, and dedication to overcome those challenges.
Here’s how the three values will guide me.
Responsibility means that when times are challenging, we will keep talking and working together. By doing so, we will make our community better.
With a decline in ISU enrollment and the effects of the pandemic, enrollment in the district has declined, at least temporarily. It’s unclear if this is a long term trend, as enrollment might rise again the following year. Rapid enrollment swings in either direction pose financial challenges for the district. Responsibility means we must steward our fiscal resources so that we have a financially healthy district for future generations.
Kids across the country lost learning in the pandemic. Responsibility means that we will commit to addressing their learning gaps.
More than ever, it is clear that schools are the best place for most kids to learn and thrive. Schools also provide stability that enables parents to work — and working parents are essential for our community. Yet school decision makers also need to take into account physical health in our whole community. Responsibility means we will take both the physical and mental health needs of children, families, and staff seriously. My decisions on the board will be guided by research, science, and the best available data, drawing on my training as a social scientist.
Equity means making sure that every child in our district gets what they need to be safe, to learn, and to thrive. Equity is not the same thing as equality — equity means recognizing that every child is unique. Learning strategies that help one child blossom educationally and socially may actively hold another back. So equity means acknowledging differences and seeking diverse solutions that help every single child succeed.
Over the past few years, the District has conducted Equity Audits to understand how well our schools are serving kids with different backgrounds. To recognize the district’s efforts, I was part of a team that helped to nominate the district for a 2021 Iowa Character Award — and the district won!
However, we still have so much work to do. We must commit to creating an environment in which everyone feels safe and included, so our kids can learn and grow.
Transparency means being open and accountable. As your neighbor as well as a social scientist, I believe in taking into account the perspectives and needs of each member of the community. Hearing diverse viewpoints makes our decisions better. I’m excited to meet each of you and learn what you think is important.
As a board, we can improve how we gather data on our children’s, parents’, and teachers’ experiences and needs. We also need to make sure we are transparent about the district’s finances.
If these values resonate with you, please click here to find out more about supporting our campaign.
The Ames Community School District commits to equity and access that empowers every individual to reach their full personal and educational potential.
– Purpose Statement of the The Ames Community School District
Priorities of the Ames Community School District
1. Educational Equity and Improvement
2. Transparent Financial Planning and Processes
3. Recruitment, Retention, and Development of a High-Quality Staff
4. Clear and Consistent Communication to Support Positive and Proactive Community Relationships
5. A Safe and Responsive System that Promotes the Mental
Health and Well-Being of Every Individual