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Meet the School Board Candidates: Jackie Sawyer (District 1)

Meet the School Board Candidates: Jackie Sawyer (District 1)

[themify_box style=”lavender rounded”]EDITOR’S NOTE: With the goal of keeping local parents (and voters) as informed as possible about all things parent-related, the editors of RCM compiled “9 Questions for the Candidates”. We asked all the Huntsville City School Board candidates to answer the same nine questions, and have run their responses each unedited and as they have sent them to us. We encourage all of our readers to exercise their democratic right and vote on Tuesday, August 23.[/themify_box]

9 Questions with Jackie Sawyer

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Q. What made you want to run for this office?
I decided to run for District One School Board after spending almost thirty years as an educator in Huntsville City School System. I noticed and realized the disparity in the quality of education between District one and the other districts. This speaks to the obvious lack of representation over the last eight years. Being retired I now have time to not only address the issues that exist but also provide the solutions necessary to get District One in line with the other Districts. I believe if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I feel it is my responsibility as a person who has dedicated so much of my life to educating students in District One that I must get involved to assist the many talented, hardworking, and diligent educators to provide an experience voice on the board. One of the issues I have identified is the system is losing so many highly qualified veteran educators to other systems and it seems as if nothing is done to retain these educators. Identifying and retaining talent is paramount to success in any endeavor especially one dealing with our students where the stakes are so high. In this system teachers and other employees have worked for the last ten years without a pay raise other than from the state. As a board member I will always put students, parents, teachers, and staff first.

Q. Are you capable of and willing to do the research necessary to ask questions about the policies, procedures and recommendations that the superintendent is bringing to the board for approval? How do you plan to fulfill the board member role of administration and supervision of the public schools as detailed in School Board Policy 2.2?
Yes, I am capable, qualified, and willing to research all policies and procedures that are brought to the board by the superintendent for approval. I also have the experience and educational background required to ensure all policies, procedures, and recommendations are equitable for all students, educators, and administrators. I have a BS and MS in Elementary Education from Alabama A & M, and I have a MS in Administration from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. I would like office space at the board so I can study the Policy Manual on a regular basis.

I plan to work collaboratively with the other board members because we are to work as a team to ensure all policies and procedures are administered to benefit the entire school system.

Q. Do your children (or school age relatives) attend Huntsville City Schools?
No, I do not have any school age children or school age relatives in Huntsville, AL.

Q. What is your vision for the schools in your district?
My vision for the schools in my District is to retain veteran teachers, higher test scores, parental involvement, improve discipline, and modernize the old buildings.

Q. What is your view of high-stakes standardized testing, and the use of those test results for the evaluation of teachers?
High stakes standardized testing is a great measuring tool for students, however it should not be used to evaluate teachers. Sometime students will have different problems on the day of testing and will not do as good but this should not be held against the teacher. This should not occur each year.

Q. What is your plan for working with the other school board members, superintendent, staff, teachers, community to implement this vision?
My plan would be to help them understand testing and some of the things that could happen during testing. If a teacher’s class scores are low every year we need to look into staff development for the teacher. Before any vision is implemented I would provide a workshop for my district.

Q. What is your view of how the district’s limited funding should be divided among the needs of the district?
The funding should be equitable to all districts, however District One has not received a fair share of funds, for example Ed White has been needing repairs for years. Look at it now since it is AAA.

Q. What is your view on the superintendent’s plans to close, consolidate, “turn around”, and “restart” many of the schools in our district?
I do not agree with closing or consolidating any more schools. At this time we need to repair and update the schools that are being used. Consolidating or closing schools will only cause over crowded classrooms in the long run. I think turn around and restart schools are good for any district because it gives the school another chance to improve academic status.

Q. What is your view of the role that parents and the community should play in the governance of our schools?
Parents and the community are the highest stakeholders; therefore they are the foundation of the schools. They should be involved in decision making through their board members. Parents should be heard and respected. They should be visible in schools along with community leaders. In essence teachers, parents, and community leaders need to work together for the advancement of all students.

Where to Find More Info About Jackie Sawyer

Ask Her a Question: Send Email
Campaign Facebook Page

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[themify_box style=”light-blue announcement rounded”]WANT TO MEET THE CANDIDATES IN PERSON? The Huntsville Council of Parent Teacher Associations is hosting a School Board Candidate Forum on Monday, August 15th, 2014. The event will be held at the Academy for Academics and Arts from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. This forum will also be broadcast live on ETV (Channel 17 on Comcast and Channel 3 on Wow!)[/themify_box]


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