The need for more Interdisciplinary Studies: “Monolithic learning doesn’t prepare students for our complex world”

v36-24-op-4-300x250-gettyTake a few moments to read this commentary in Education Week titled “The Unmet Need for Interdisciplinary Education.” (link below)  When I have spoken to teachers in our District, many have passionately echoed the same sentiment, but have been frustrated when they have tried to make it happen because the incremental costs associated with interdisciplinary studies presents challenges, unless the class size is large enough (but not too large) to justify the expense.    

I firmly agree with the author.  In my view, interdisciplinary studies is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity for a 21st century high school education.  I cannot say it enough–we need more collaboration, both with our teachers and between our teachers.  And if this is what ignites the passions of our teachers, then we must find ways to say “yes” to more and more interdisciplinary studies (and I have ideas about how we can do so within our budget).   Simply stated, passionate teachers are critical to promoting student engagement, achievement and personal growth.  This should be the foundation of our District’s education mission.

Study: Teacher Satisfaction, Collaboration Are Keys to Student Achievement

teachers-group-2-900x500socialmedia-getty-thumb-500xauto-23565“Past research has found that teachers tend to have higher job satisfaction when there is a strong, collaborative school culture.”

This article illustrates the link between teacher satisfaction and student achievement, and is why I have been such a vocal proponent of establishing a culture of collaboration for and throughout our District.

Imagine that…learning from our teachers


“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

One of the most important tenets of the my platform is ACCESSIBILITY. I pledge to make myself available to all of our District’s stakeholders, but most importantly, to our TEACHERS at DHS and HPHS. Our teachers are the District’s most important asset and also its greatest resource. We need a School Board that is truly committed to engaging and collaborating with our teachers, who are the ones who best understand how to meet the diverse needs of our students, who hold the key to maximizing student engagement, and who are uniquely positioned to suggest ways that our schools can innovate and improve to achieve excellence in education. Our District leadership needs to spend less time dictating, and more time asking and listening to our teachers. Imagine that….learning from our teachers….

I am a candidate for the D113 School Board

gjsI am running for a position on the School Board to improve our schools as well as the Board’s accountability to its constituents. I want to promote a culture at the District level that values bona fide collaboration, transparency, two-way communication and productive and respectful dialogue and debate of major issues. I want earn the trust of our teachers and parents, so that we can work together to make sure our District is the best it can be, and to make sure that our students reach their full potential. My platform is simple:

I pledge to represent and work in collaboration with our teachers, Superintendent and District Administration to establish goals, policies and provide leadership designed to foster a safe learning environment, educational excellence and equal opportunity for all students within the District.

I pledge to faithfully serve as a guardian of taxpayer funds, and pursue educational excellence within the District’s fiscal limits and constraints. Increased taxes should not drive our District’s long term vision, or serve as a crutch to avoid having to make prudent but difficult decisions.

I pledge to engage with our teachers, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians, and the community at large, to ensure that I remain informed regarding their respective ideas and concerns, and so that I can adequately represent their interests, and build consensus for major decisions.

I pledge to listen to all voices, to be direct, candid, accessible and transparent, and will work to lead the Board’s efforts to improve the quality and quantity of its communications with its constituents.

Election Day is April 4, 2017. I hope to earn your VOTE.