Tuesday, February 27th I registered to run for the Board of Education here in Montgomery County. When I woke up that Tuesday morning I did not have “run for office” on my list of things to do; in fact I was home sick with the flu – I had very little on my to-do list that Tuesday. But it was not quite as spur of the moment as it seemed. I’ve thought about doing this for years, but I thought it would be in a while, maybe when my youngest, George, was in high school and instead of in elementary school.
However, when the incumbent from district 1 was still unopposed as the day went on, I started to see that running now, instead of later, was the right thing to do. My family agreed, and so I got signatures from my campaign chair and husband, Brian, and from my treasurer and amazing friend, Kim Glassman on my way to the Board of Elections.
90 minutes and 25 dollars later, I was registered.
Six weeks later, I am still registered, and am slowly ramping up for the campaign. I have had some great conversations and meetings since February 27th, and I am more convinced then ever that this is the right thing to do for me, for my family and for our community.
Campaigns are marathons, not sprints, and while November is sooner than one might think, rushing never helped. However, while it may take a me a few more weeks to get all the logistics figured out, I already know the important things – the reasons why I am doing this.
Most of my career I’ve worked to help schools and families achieve their mutual goal – creating young people who are capable of self-directed and fulfilling lives, whatever that looks like for them. I often say that I was very lucky to have access to a strong public education system as a young person and as a result, when I got to college, I was as prepared as any 17 year old could be. However, it wasn’t luck. It was careful planning and good policy that made that possible. I want to help MCPS do that planning and craft policies that work for all students.
Through my work with families, students and schools, I have strived to make sure that every student has an education that is personally meaningful and challenging, appropriately ambitious and designed to allow them to leave high school ready for whatever their next step in life is. I know we are doing a very good job of that for many, many families here in Montgomery County. But aren’t doing as well as we should be for many students and families, and that isn’t acceptable.
I am running because I want to help MCPS do a great job of preparing every single student for self-directed and fulfilling lives, no matter where they live and what they want to do next. Equity and access are two words that keep coming up in our conversations about schools, and I think they give us two strong values to guide the Board’s decision-making. Two other words keep coming up as I talk to people – inclusive and responsiveness, many people have not felt heard by the Board of Education and want to participate more, but don’t see a way to do so. Too many people have told me they don’t feel included or considered in the Board’s decision-making or in MCPS’ vision. That is not acceptable, every Montgomery County family should be valued and considered in the Board’s work.
Many of you share that vision for an inclusive and responsive Board of Education that serves all our diverse community; I’ll need your help to see make that vision real.
Thank you for your friendship, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey!