Dare County Board of Education – District 2
Published 7:21 am Saturday, November 3, 2018
Dare County Board of Education – District 2. Running for this seat are Joe Tauber, Republican, and Jen Alexander, Democrat.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Contact Phone: (252) 573-3061
Facebook: Jen Alexander for Dare
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Position/philosophy statement: I am a parent with children in our schools and clinical social worker. I am committed to: listening, advocacy and transparency.
Contact Phone: (252) 346-6621
Email Address: email@example.com
Position/philosophy statement: My philosophy is to provide the resources necessary to ensure the success of all students attending Dare County Schools.
What are your qualifications for this position?
Alexander: I have two children in our schools and I’ve worked as a licensed clinical social worker in our community for over 15 years. I attended public schools and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Social Work degree. I’ve worked with schools as a mental health consultant and a graduate teaching assistant, and I’ve served on the executive committee of the First Flight Elementary PTO for the past 5 years. As a social worker I focus on children and families, giving me insight into the challenges they face, and the skills I’ve developed help me appreciate–and work with–various perspectives. I will consider all points of view while remaining focused on the best interests of our schools.
Tauber: Since my election to the School Board in 2014, I have worked tirelessly in providing comprehensive educational opportunities for our students. I have been at the forefront of advocating for the Dual Language Immersion Program to bring our ESL students up to speed with our English speaking students. I have been an advocate for vocational training for those students who may not desire to attend college. I have also spoken up to increase the budget for Teacher Professional Development, and to provide additional affordable housing for our teachers. Likewise, I was at the forefront in protecting Teaching Assistants positions, and providing tuition assistance and pay increases for teachers.
What do you think are the top 2 challenges facing public education and our students in Dare County?
Alexander: School safety is the top priority. Keeping children safe requires being proactive. I believe that we must educate the “whole child:” We must foster resiliency and well-being in our communities’ children and provide a safe school environment to support children’s learning. Next, I believe that we must remain mindful of the differing cultures and needs of each of our communities and schools in Dare County.
Tauber: Providing a safe and healthy learning environment. A child needs to feel secure that when they enter on school property, it will be a safe and nurturing environment. That is why I have supported mental health providers to be inside the schools helping students cope with the emotional perils they may be facing.
Expanding educational and vocational opportunities for all students. Partnering with COA to provide advanced academic courses and vocational training such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical,
What steps will you take to ensure that every child receives a high-quality education, including Home Schooled students and those that attend private schools?
Alexander: The keys to education success are oversight, accountability, and transparency. I will support these by maintaining open and clear communications, and advocating for consistent education standards. Specifically, every citizen will be able communicate with me at Board meetings, by telephone or email. I support standards that focus on student growth instead of tests, and advocate for home and private schools to operate at the same high standard as our public schools.
Tauber: I am committed to ensuring that ALL Dare County students receive a high-quality education. ALL students should have the right to access all academic courses, extra-curricular activities to include:band, athletics, stage, clubs, vocational training, internships, and apprenticeships. High Academic standards must be set for all, and students should face challenges to peak their learning capabilities.I supported resources being committed to the Dual Language Immersion Program to help ESL students.
What will you do to obtain sufficient funding to ensure that Dare County students are equipped with adequate technology and teachers to thrive in the 21st Century?
Alexander: The Board does not raise funds and is dependent on local, state and federal dollars. I support the use of technology to enhance learning which expands occupational opportunities post graduation. I support the digital learning initiative including a laptop for each child, which provides teachers and students with access to an array of educational resources.
Tauber: I was an advocate for the five on five, which puts BOE and BOC members at the table to discuss budgeting for DCS. I have the phone number of every BOC Member, and our House and Senate Members, and have discussed the needs of our students for advanced technology, increased teacher and teacher assistance pay, affordable housing,and tuition assistance for teachers earning advanced degrees. As a DEF & ABC Board Member, I help raise funds for programs and initiatives set forth by the Superintendent
What policies would you support to mitigate a potential shooting or other threats to student safety at schools in our district?
Alexander: We must shift our thinking about school safety from reaction to prevention. I support many of the recommendations from the Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence (Feb. 2018.) I also support our safety protocols including School Resource Officers in every school, security cameras and electronic entry systems, the Social Sentinel; and, our Superintendent’s expanded drills and training. I support the good relationship our schools have with local law enforcement.
Tauber: Children and staff must feel safe on school property. Thus, all threats must be taken seriously. Security must be stringent to thwart potential threats from entering our schools. If a threat enters the school, the threat must be isolated and eliminated. Having Resource Officers in OUR Schools greatly reduces the threat. Working with law enforcement and other first responders, plans have been put in place to eliminate/reduce any potential threat to our students and staff. Those plans are fluid.
What will you do to obtain sufficient funding to provide more classrooms and teachers in order to comply with reduced class size requirements?
Alexander: The legislature approved some funding for a phase-in of the class size mandate but it is still inadequate. We must give certainty by fully funding this; we must protect art, music and PE classes and teachers. The Board does not raise funds, however, I will work collaboratively with the Dare County Board of Commissioners who understand the inadequacies of the other funding sources and who have demonstrated their commitment to Dare County Schools..
Tauber: During a tour of a middle school, I noticed that several classes were over-crowded, causing a very difficult imposition on the teacher and the students. After discussions with the Principal, Vice-Principal, Superintendent, we found resources in our current budget allocations to alleviate the overcrowding. Given my relationship with our elected officials, I can make them aware of overcrowding and lobby for additional funding for additional teachers, teaching assistants, and new furniture.
How would you promote quality interactions or involvement between the schools and all Dare County citizens?
Alexander: I will promote a positive relationship between our community and schools by listening attentively, and openly share information as appropriate. My objective is to ensure that everyone in the school and community understands they are an important and valued team member and have the opportunity to influence Board decisions. As a Board member, I am here to serve you. As such, I will make myself available (meetings, email, and phone) to listen and to provide information they need to make decisions.
Tauber: I am an advocate for vocational training with COA and local businesses for our students so they can enter the work force with a skill set that sets them up for success. I strongly support the PTOs and the work they do. I sponsored an “earn while you learn” program to provide internships and apprenticeships for our students. I am conducting a forum for business owners to be able to reach out to students for employment opportunities. As a DEF and ABC Board Member I support our teachers and student