I believe very strongly in the value of public education. I am the product of public-school in PG County, my sons attended HCPSS, and my grandchildren do now. HCPSS was once the gold standard of public education and I want to work to return that status. There are three main reasons I feel qualified to serve; my career background, my desire to focus on education, and my lack of political aspirations beyond the BOE.
Reason #1, my career background: I always loved school and excelled in it. Unfortunately, circumstances of a broken home prevented me from attending college. I realized I needed to find a job and career. I was offered the first job I interviewed for; a position in the mortgage loan industry. I was eager to apply my strong work ethic and took every opportunity for learning and promotion and I did well.
Later, as a young family with two small children, my husband and I started a men’s clothing business. We started from our kitchen table in Columbia and risked everything we owned. We had multiple roles and faced many challenges; leasing space, hiring & training employees, purchasing inventory, financing, building benefit plans, and more. This experience taught me common-sense decision–making skills with immediate and long-term consequences. We grew the business to multiple states and created over 150 jobs. In addition to work, I’ve always believed in volunteering, and I have served on multiple Howard County boards (PlanHoward 2030, HCC Education Foundation, HoCo Planning and more).
We eventually sold our business, and I entered the next phase of my career with residential real estate. For the last 15 years I’ve helped families attain their dreams of finding their starter or dream home. I heard almost daily; “I want to be in Howard County because of the schools.” In the last few years of selling real estate, in working with many families and through my own experiences, I have observed our treasured school system diminishing in the reputation of education excellence. This led to my interest to serve on the Board of Education.
Reason #2, my desire to focus on education: Our public school system has an obligation to meet community and parent expectations that all students will receive the best education and preparation possible. HCPSS and the BOE has lost its focus on that mission. The issues HCPSS faces are complex; overcrowding, lack of new schools, budget allocation and balancing, deferred maintenance, special education funding, staffing shortage, teacher morale, and more. I believe my career background, combined with my desire to focus on education, will allow me to collaboratively help re-focus our BOE on the mission of education, while addressing these complex challenges.
There are currently members of our BOE that lack complex decision-making skills, or have a political agenda, that mire the system into gridlock. The decisions being made are halting our internal executives, principals, and teachers to truly perform at their best level. If our goal is to prepare our children for their future; then all decisions made on each issue must be tie back to the goal of education excellence. For over 40 years of my career, I have applied critical thinking skills, collaboration, and a focus on an overarching goal and I would be honored to apply these skills to the treasure that is our school system.
Reason #3, I have zero political aspirations beyond the BOE: Our county deserves resolute individuals who can focus on making policy, without the influence of higher political gain, and with the understanding each decision has long-term consequences. I have the experience, the time, and the desire to take on this responsibility. I have no further political aspirations and will not be beholden to any special interest group. My mission is to restore education excellence into our public school system.
For these reasons, I believe I am qualified to serve on your Howard County Board of Education. I would appreciate your consideration and your vote.