- For All Kids
As a practicing pediatrician, for almost two decades, my career has been about helping kids to succeed. Following my patients’ journeys from childhood into adulthood has been intensely gratifying. Now I am ready to extend my commitment to all of our community’s children by serving on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board.
The time is right to achieve equity in our community’s schools. I strongly support the district’s initiatives to create a school environment where all students feel welcome and have the opportunity to excel. I believe that starts with high expectations of growth and achievement for all students, promoting a local culture where all students are included and valued, and ensuring the proper scaffolds are in place to help every student do the work needed to succeed.
- Improve Supports for Students
Frank Porter Graham’s Institute’s nationally recognized research shows increasing access to Pre-K is one of the most successful strategies to improve student performance in the long term. Teaching children to read and read well by third grade is essential to closing the achievement gap. The district should re-examine the use of personnel and how instruction is delivered. This is not an easy task, but it must remain the focus of the school board. We must all advocate for increased funding by the North Carolina General Assembly and appreciate the work of our Orange County Commissioners to increase funding.
- Improve Supports for Students with Disabilities
In my years as Chair of the School District’s Special Needs Advisory Council, I have advocated for improved inclusion models, peer buddy programs, actual curriculum for adapted curriculum classes, and professional development for general education and special education teachers related to students with disabilities. We have seen much improvement in the past 5 years, but there is still room for progress in terms of professional development, improving inclusion models, more fully developing occupational course of study, and improving curriculum and quantifying growth in adapted curriculum classrooms. Improving supports for students with disabilities is also key to improving equity, as some students of color and students in lower socioeconomic strata are also designated as students with disabilities.
- Maintain academic excellence
The Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools District consistently performs among the very best in the state and country. Continuing this track record is vital for our students and our community. We need to continue our emphasis on visual and performing arts, world languages, career and technical classes, and offering a broad portfolio of classes. As a physician and a biomedical engineer, I know first hand the importance of preserving our District’s emphasis on “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) courses. To keep our school district strong, we must also find ways to attract and retain excellent teachers, particularly in the shortage fields of math, science, and special education departments. Finally, we must continue to work to bring all school facilities up to standard.