A Shared Vision
Arlington has one of the best school systems in Virginia. Yet, with overcrowding in some schools, fierce competition for teachers, and issues of diversity and population growth, Arlington still has work to do. We need to have a fifteen year plan for the future. We need to provide proper facilities, the finest academic curriculum and the best environment for all of our children. I am committed to those goals.
Equity in Education: The Change Agents
Equity must be a driving factor in the future success of Arlington Public Schools (APS). For our entire Arlington Community to flourish, we must all be engaged in promoting equity. This is not an easy task, but it will have collective impact. In order to make progress, we need to change our way of thinking. We need to do more to bridge the opportunity gap for all students. My strategy to build equity throughout APS is:
- Have cultural competency training for teachers and staff, as well as for vendors and contractors who deal with APS.
- Hire teachers who represent the diversity of the student population.
- Ensure that the new Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) plays a substantive role and has sufficient support.
- Lastly, we will have to create metrics to measure our progress.
This is just the beginning. Once these four phases have been completed, we can add more initiatives.
A well-educated society is more productive, self-reliant and compassionate. We each have a shared responsibility to ensure high level outcomes across all of our county neighborhoods. We owe it to each other to dream and act. All Arlingtonians will then share in the benefits of such a talented, creative and caring community.
Planning: Forecasting Change
Proactive planning and projections need to take place in order to address the capacity issues facing our schools, teachers and students. What are the data and what can we learn from it? We need to more accurately project population growth so that we can anticipate and reply in a timely fashion to future needs for schools.
We need to have a plan to retain our educators and attract more top teachers to account for growth in APS. I will advocate for more competitive salaries, benefits, and working conditions that respect the life of the teacher. We have the know-how and the technology to imagine how our society is evolving and to address those coming developments. But in order to do this, we need to include diverse perspectives at the table.
We need to be open and honest with the community and those most impacted by the changes coming throughout APS. As your publicly elected official, I will help define the vision to make sure that change is explained clearly, openly, and transparently. We need to listen closely to community concerns and suggestions and make sure they align with the best interests of moving APS forward.
A teamwork approach is needed to carry out the long-term plan and vision for Arlington. My 12 years of experience working in the elevator industry has strengthened my ability to set multi-million dollar budgets and adhere to them, to work with labor organizations, and to oversee different aspects of construction.
In addition, I’ve developed capital strategies to maximize return on investment (ROI) on individual facilities and property portfolios. I have the skills required to understand the business side of APS. I can help solidify existing relationships between APS and the business community, and forge new partnerships that will help our students and schools prepare for the future.