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Profession: Small business owner
Residence; Ken Caryl
Campaign Website: www.maryparkerforjeffcoschools.com
Why are you seeking this office?
After seeing the disruption and chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am running to ensure that Jeffco students stay back in school safely for an uninterrupted school year. The pandemic was also hard on our teachers and support staff and we need to strengthen our efforts to attract and retain quality employees.
What makes you the best person for the job?
I own a small business specializing in compensation so I know the best ways to attract and retain staff. I have 2 daughters who are Jeffco teachers and 4 granddaughters who have attended or are attending Jeffco schools. And I am a child advocate, having taught parenting classes and working as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for neglected and abused children for the past 14 years.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
My top priority is keeping our kids in the classroom safely for an uninterrupted school year.
We must address our critical shortage of bus drivers and substitute teachers. If our kids are not able to get to school or if there is no teacher in the classroom, they will not get the education they deserve.
Guaranteeing transparency and effective communications between the school board, the community, and the schools is key to student success.
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?
Improving student achievement requires a good way of evaluating curricula and teaching techniques. The Colorado Read Act is a good example of such an effort. It requires that all K-3 teachers complete evidence-based training in teaching reading. The Read Act includes an advisory list of programs and assessments, and plans for students identified with a significant reading deficiency. Districts and schools will be held accountable for student progress.
What do you believe is the most important thing to keep in mind when making Covid-related decisions?
Statewide evidence shows that schools with mask mandates have lower COVID case counts and quarantines. It is imperative that the Jeffco school district follow and enforce the health protocols issued by Jefferson County Public Health.
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