I teach preschool full time at my family’s preschool in a nearby city and I teach as an adjunct instructor in the Early Childhood Education department at Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University. My most important obligation and job, though, is my family. I am married and have 3 children (ages 4, 7, and 11). That’s why I am running.

For the past 4 years I have volunteered at my children’s school, been a room mom, and participated as a member of PTA. There are things that I have been unhappy with in our district. I can either complain about them or do something. I chose to do something.

One year ago I brought my concerns to the BOE. You can see the youtube video here. Since then, I have not seen any progress. I have a soon to be fourth grader and a soon to be second grader who have been lucky enough to have amazing teachers in Strongsville City Schools. That being said, there is so much change that is still possible!

We are severely lacking innovative curriculum and developmentally appropriate practices. We don't have STEM, project-based learning, flexible seating classrooms, or respectful behavior modification systems in place. Many children are being robbed of childhood by too much testing, piles of homework, and not enough play or recess.

As a college instructor I pride myself on being an advocate for young children. That means I teach my college students to teach with hand-on, developmentally appropriate practices, play-based learning, and respectful classroom culture. Sadly, when my students get hired as teachers, they often tell me that their district does not allow them to teach the way they want. This is what I hope to change.

We need to trust the teachers who are with our children everyday. Our teachers deserve flexibility with the curriculum and schedules in order to meet each child's individual learning style.

We also need to see the children in Strongsville as residents with rights.

I believe our children have rights.

They have the right to...

... learn through play.

.... learn through developmentally appropriate practices.

.... to have recess every day.

.... to have enough time to eat a healthy meal.

.... to wash their hands (with soap and water, not hand sanitizer) before lunch and after recess.

... to go to school in a safe environment.

... ALL CHILDREN have the right to a quality education.

Sadly, I feel that no one is speaking for our children. Ask your child if they have time to wash their hands before lunch. Ask if recess has ever been taken away. I hope to bring a voice for the children of our schools to the BOE.

It upsets me that families are finding private schools outside of our district. They are looking for schools with innovative approaches, lower teacher to student ratios, and different curriculum options. This is something we shouldn't have to leave our city for. Strongsville is capable of being a standout district.