Since being elected in 2008, I have stayed the course of my promises to you: maintaining the focus on our financial stability and security, making transparency a standard of operations, not raising school-board controlled taxes, and proudly representing the best interests of our students and employees.
Despite decreased student funding, Miami-Dade County Public Schools continues to set the standard for urban school districts throughout the country. As Broad Prize winners, we have been nationally recognized for student success and increased academic achievement, and have been acknowledged as leaders in academic achievement, financial stability, and transparency within the Council of Great City Schools.
During the course of my tenure, I am proud to say Miami-Dade County Public Schools has increased curricular offerings to students to include over 500 choice options and has brought forth some of the most innovative programs in the country. During the past eight years, I am proud to have played a role in new schools opening in the deep south like MAST @ Homestead and The Center for International Education: A Cambridge Associate School; proud of working to open new schools in Richmond Heights and Goulds like BioTech@Richmond Heights and Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts. District 9 features some of the most unique educational experiences available to students and confirm my commitment to ensuring curricular enhancements and opportunity progress in an equitable manner for all communities.
For students who choose their attendance-boundary school option, our neighborhood schools continue to provide well-rounded educational experiences grounded in tradition and pride. Flagship high schools like Palmetto Senior High, Coral Reef Senior High, South Dade Senior High and Homestead Senior High, along with our latest addition, Cutler Bay Senior High continue to offer rigorous academic options alongside the rich traditional high school experience. Our students and families have opportunities and options to choose from when deciding what educational experience best fits the needs of their children.
With now 43 years of experience in schools throughout the district, I see opportunities to improve education and security for our students. I have successfully sponsored agenda items that:
- Prohibited the use of data transmission devices (texting or cell phone use) while operating school-board owned vehicles
- Strengthened current policies and practices related to head and brain injuries sustained during athletic events and physical education classes
- Ensured each middle and high school is staffed with a School Board Police Officer to enhance student safety
- Directed a review and revamped the Personnel Investigative Model – resulting in savings of $2.5 Million to our district
I share with you my desire to continue this important work and develop new initiatives as I kick-off my re-election campaign. I would be honored to have an opportunity to continue to plan and maintain our financial stability, improve student performance, protect our teachers, and work with my colleagues and Superintendent to maintain our focus on students, as well as accountability to the public.
To achieve these goals, I need your support. I have opened my re-election campaign and ask you to, once again, allow me to finish the job we have started together.