Educational Background: Bonds-Wilson High School, North Charleston, South Carolina. B.S., Library Science, South Carolina State University. Master of Science in Guidance, Certification in Administration and Supervision K-12, University of Central Florida. Re-Certified in: Library Science, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Guidance & Counseling, Florida State University. Working toward Doctorate Degree, Florida Atlantic University, University of Central Florida hours earned and National Louis University.
Teacher/Educator Librarian in Osceola County. Presently OCPS Brd.
Civic Organizations: Homeowner Associations, Precinct Committee Woman, Orange Co. Community Action Brd.,Parent Booster, Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity (International) Diamond Jubilee Member, Gamma Phi Delta Sorority & Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., (FAME) Florida State Librarians Association, OCEA, CTA-R, FEA, NEA, AFT-AFLCIO and Habitat for Humanity Home Builder Volunteer. I am a PTA supporter in all of my schools.
A member of St. Mark AME Church.
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.
Orange County Schools faces the same challenges most Florida districts are facing about their public schools: State mandates, Parent/community support is needed in our communities. Although OCPS is in better shape than most, many of the increased mandates from Tallahassee are either unfunded or inadequately funded. We have made a major effort to inform our parents and community of the situation because if any district misses the mark their community will not understand that their hands were financially tied. Other challenges facing OCPS are Involving our parents , faculty & staff more in the decision making process this is being done through our academies and staff development programs as well as our design team program as we build new schools and provide resources in our school community. Funding has always been inadequate in Florida. We must elect legislators that believes that education is first for our children and I will continue to work in our communities to make it happen.
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?
Virtual schools, charter schools, and other schools of choice will continue to grow and expand. The public school landscape will include more choice options and the traditional schools that currently exist will be challenged to compete. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a commitment to quality in some of the venues.
Instead, inadequate funding does not support quality programs and forces traditional schools to compete when a better model would be to have the various venues complement each other. The taxpayer would benefit and parents would be pleased.
What are three things “going right” for Orange County Public Schools? How will you continue forward progress?
There are a lot of things “going right” in OCPS! First, achievement levels (Reading, Math, Advance Placement, Graduation Rates) have trended upwards over the past decade and has become the norm and not the exception. Secondly, OCPS was able to shed the federal oversight of its desegregation efforts. Almost, 50 years of defining ourselves within a bi-racial context ended when a federal judge acknowledge our efforts of successfully educating all children, regardless of ethnicity, race, or nationality. Finally, we were able to convince the community to pass a sales tax increase to upgrade our facilities and later a millage increase to maintain our academic and athletic programs while the economy declined. Neither accomplishment could have occurred without public confidence and I thank you!