Master Degree in Education, Bachelor Degree in Psychology (Both from Ball State University)
Years as a Fishers Resident?
Actually live in Noblesville, Wayne Township--HSE schools. Built my home here 15 years ago, moved in 14 years ago.
Community Involvement Activities
Active member of Geist Christian Church, Fishers Campus. Volunteer there as a Children's Ministry teacher and lead a small women's group focused on spiritual and physical wellness. I've kept my HSE background check current and volunteer when my daughter's schools have opportunities.
I have over 15 years experience leading early education programs in the Central Indiana area. I also lead a women's small group at my church.
1. What is your number one reason for wanting to serve on the school board?
I want to help ensure equity and access for all students, and further encourage equity work within the district. I support the work of Dr. Buchanon-Rivera and her team, and would like to see additional work both explored and better communicated. There is no place for discrimination of any student in our district, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age or disability.
2. What role does policy play/have in the function of the board?
School boards first must be aware of the various laws, regulations, and local policies that impact the work of the school board and district. School boards may also develop, implement, and assess policies for the district. Policies should emerge from a shared vision and mission for the school district, the establishment of goals, and then a plan to meet the goals.
3. What legislative action at the state level would you support to improve education in our community.
The school funding laws are outdated, as we've all learned about with the 85% funding for public schools with virtual students. I would also like legislators to consider lowering the compulsory age to 6 from 7, as well as making kindergarten mandatory. Long term, I would also advocate for the statewide funding for preschool, as early learning has proven to have a 14% return on investment in Indiana. I supported HB 1002 that removes the requirement that teacher evaluations be based significantly on student test scores. I would need to see this years proposed legislation to make an educated decision on what legislation to support other than funding in the 2021 session.
4. What do you think is the biggest issue facing your district?
Equity appears to be one of the biggest issues in my opinion. Equity continues to rear its head in nondiscrimination policy arguments, complaints of racial inequities, and the vast inequities that have been brought to the surface during the pandemic. While I consider equity a big issue, please know I recognize and understand there are other very important issues, but when asked to pick one, equity has to be at the top of the list.
5. If you were elected what one thing would you like to accomplish during your term?
With the addition of a new elementary school in Wayne Township, I would like to further explore options to improve our feeder system. I would like to see whole elementary schools going to an intermediate/junior highs, and prevent the crossing between schools that feed into HSEHS and FHS. For example, Durbin Elementary here in Wayne Township, splits between two intermediate/junior highs--one which feeds into FHS, then all Durbin students would return to HSEHS.
Preferred Contact Information (How do you want voters to contact you?)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through the messenger on my campaign FB page Sarah Parks-Reese for HSE School Board.