I received my Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication and Theatre from Cedar Crest College.
Presidnet & CEO, Dave’s House
Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts Circle Executive Leadership, Team Go Red for Women, American Resort Development Association, Women in the Industry, Association of Fundraising Professionals, SHRM, Central Florida Women’s League, Central Florida Women’s League Foundation, Committee of 101, West Orange Chamber of Commerce, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, Garden Theatre, Orlando Chamber of Commerce, West Orange Junior Service League, National Center for Simulation and Modeling, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Florida Hospital Association
One challenge for Orange County Public Schools is that many parents are unsure about our public schools. Describe your ideas for improving the public’s confidence in our schools and accountability system. Identify two other challenges facing OCPS and briefly discuss what ideas you have to begin addressing these three challenges.
Overall, I hear strong confidence in our schools. However, we can do a better job of communicating OCPS’ successes and available programs. Particularly, when it comes to student performance compared to private and top rated schools across the country. Connecting parents and businesses on all that is and will be available in our schools is key to continued achievement. We have an incredible amount of innovative and successful programs from arts to applied STEM education going on in our classrooms. As the School Boards newly appointed Chair of the Communications Committee, I’m planning to do a better job of getting information out. State laws establishing a new accountability system for our schools, teachers, and students. I am in favor of higher standards that help create a competitive, skilled 21st Century workforce. However, currently, the system is too complex to stay focused on the prize – each and every student achieving success. There is too much time taken away from education with measuring minutia and focusing on high-stakes tests rather the outcomes of progress and performance. While we cannot change state law, we can work to streamline what we locally control and partner with the Department of Education and Legislature to create the best education environment in the country while closing achievement gaps and celebrating our finest educators.
Orange County’s student population continues to grow faster than funding for public schools. As the Legislature funnels more funding to charter schools and the choice options for parents expand, even fewer dollars are available to fund traditional public schools. What impact do you believe this trend will have on the future of public education?
I am an advocate for school choice, especially since our schools’ time and again are the competitively best option. I will always fight for proper funding for our public schools so that we can better meet the needs of our fast-growing and diverse population.
What are three things “going right” for Orange County Public Schools? How will you continue forward progress?
1. OCPS has increased skills training and created more pathways for career readiness. We are now working with industries to help with workforce shortages and ensure jobs for our career and college-bound graduates.
2. As a result of the voters passing a half-penny sales tax, OCPS is implementing an almost completely blended digital curriculum. This focus on technology not only prepares our students for 21st century learning and careers but also provides a cutting edge engaging academic environment.
3. OCPS has made progress in providing more access to enrichment courses throughout our schools. Valuable offerings from STEM to performing arts programs, cater to a student’s unique interest and contributes to a positive learning environment.