Frequently Asked Questions
As an elected official, I work hard to build transparency. I've included a few frequently asked questions below. If you have more, please reach out and I'll do my best to answer and then add them here as appropriate. I will also do my best to correct mis- and dis-information when it is being propogated in our community.
01 Student Safety
Students, families, and staff deserve to feel safe at school - and our community supports that. The last two school bonds - 2017 and 2022 - included funding for major infrastructure work to keep our campuses secure. This included creating secure entries at every building, fencing the perimeter of each campus, and now adding keyless locking mechanisms in all doors. I am proud to have Chaired the campaign for the last bond that will fund the latest work, which passed with 60% voter approval (the highest in recent memory). In addition, I was part of a unanimous vote by the Board to ensure all Bend-La Pine Schools buildings and facilities are now completely gun-free zones - including for concealed carry. Finally, I regularly advocate for - and the district annually informs families of - the importance of safe storage of guns. Gunshot is the second leading cause of death for children in Oregon, the majority of which are suicide. Gun owners, veterans, and medical professionals agree - safe storage saves lives and reduces successful completion of suicide attempts.
02 Climate Change & Sustainability
Our youth care about our planet and the climate they will inherit. As a new Board member in 2019, I was part of a unanimous vote to adopt Climate Resolution 1884. I then leveraged my governance expertise work with Director Caroline Skidmore in revising district policies, ensuring the existing Sustainability Plan was revised, required to be updated every five years henceforth, and reported against annually. This focus led to the adoption of a new Sustainability Plan in 2021 focused on four core areas: education, transportation, buildings and operations, and materials management. In 2022, the district hired its first in-house Sustainability Coordinator to oversee this work toward identified goals and benchmarks. For example, 75% of schools currently have a Green Team with a goal of 100% by 2025. The district currently produces 197 kw of energy across four schools, with a goal of 500 kw by 2035. And the first electric bus went into operation this year.
03 Connecting with Students, Families, Staff & Community
Bend-La Pine Schools operates 33 schools and authorizes seven alternative learning options - I have made it a priority to be in each of them. From taking apples to every Principal during the first week of school, to observing classrooms and instruction alongside instructional leaders, to visiting our J5 program at the juvenile justice system, to attending district and school specific events, to replying to thousands of emails, to meeting with constituents, to holding listening sessions, to chairing a school bond campaign that passed with a 60% margin - I have made it a point to ensure I am not only known by students, families, and educators, but approachable and accountable to them as well.