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Profession: Professor, University of CO Denver, School of Public Affairs; CEO and Founder, Visible Network Labs
Campaign Website: daniellevardaforjeffcoschools.com/
Why are you seeking this office?
As a lifelong public servant, I’m ready to direct that towards teaching and learning, good governance, and support for all educators, in service to our kids. I am proud of what we have accomplished in Jefferson County and believe that can continue to support schools where kids can thrive, succeed, and grow. As a board member, my goals are to be a collaborative partner, a learner and listener for stakeholders, and an advocate for kids.
What makes you the best person for the job?
As a mother of three Jeffco students, I have a vested interest in the direction of our schools. I am a regular volunteer in the classroom and am the Chair of my kids’ School Accountability Committee. I believe my experience as a tenured CU Professor, Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner, Technologist, and Data Scientist will provide the experience and skills required to govern on the board with integrity and commitment to our students.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
First, it is critical that we focus on the mental health and well-being of our kids, teachers, and families. Second, I’d like to see the expansion of Jeffco’s school to career programming, emphasizing partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, and government. And third, we have a critical teacher and staff shortage. We need to address this with support and fair compensation so that Jeffco is a competitive place to work, raise a family, and build promising futures.
Student test score results were flagging across the district, even before COVID-19. What is the number one way you’d seek to improve student achievement?
It is critical that we provide resources equitably across the district. We need to ensure our classrooms and teachers have what they need to help kids succeed academically, but we also need to look at how we can address the social and economic factors that families face which impact student outcomes. When kids do not have access to food or adequate housing, they cannot come to school ready to learn, which impacts their overall achievement.
What do you believe is the most important thing to keep in mind when making Covid-related decisions?
Our top priority should be to keep kids in school, safely with uninterrupted learning time. To keep our kids, teachers, and staff safe we should continue to follow public health guidance, provide the air quality and sanitization measures required, and continue to encourage ways to build social support and connection among our school community to renormalize in-person learning and encourage healthy ways to be and stay connected.
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