WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR JENIFER
Knowledgeable, Experienced, and Engaged
During my first term as School Board Director, I committed myself to learning what I would need to become an effective school board member. I better educated myself on our District's successes and the challenges we face, volunteered to serve on multiple committees, and attended numerous District meetings outside the normal Committee and Board meetings. I also attended students' events and any teacher or school event to which I was invited. Through honest communication and respect, I have earned the reputation among District stakeholders as someone who is approachable, will listen to their concerns, and will work to the best of her ability to assist them with their questions and/or concerns. The knowledge and experience I gained as well as the dedication to OASD I exhibited earned me the respect of my fellow Board members, who voted me Vice President of the Board in December.
Understands the Issues
I believe understanding the issues facing the District is critical to being an effective School Board member. In addition to researching the business which comes before the Board, I visited each school annually (except during the Pandemic), to meet with principals and teachers, tour the buildings and visit classrooms to better understand the conditions in our school. I sat in on curriculum meetings to understand the current trends and challenges in our curriculum. I attend Strategic Planning Committee meetings so that I can understand and help shape the future goals of the District. The understanding of the issues I have gained has guided me in making the best decisions possible for our students and the community.
Engaged in our District
I love OASD! As the parent of two boys who received their education in Oxford Schools, I always enjoyed going to functions my children participated in as well as events like Friday night football games, the annual musical, and concerts. Now that I am a Board member, I ensure I attend as many events as possible to encourage and celebrate our students and show my Hornet Pride! I enjoy attending graduations, student performances, and athletic events and enthusiastically attend any teacher or school event I am invited to participate in, like the guest reader day. My engagement doesn't stop with the students. To celebrate and show my appreciation for our teachers, I have attended the annual staff retirement dinner and Welcome Back Teachers Breakfast each year.
Listens to Stakeholders
The School Board must weigh the viewpoint of numerous stakeholders—parents, students, teachers, and taxpayers. I have made an effort to be attentive to each of these groups throughout my first term. During the uncertain times brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, I have done my best to address OASD needs and stakeholder concerns knowing how divided our community is on on Covid-19 issues. I attended all community information sessions explaining how our District planned to respond to the pandemic and listened to the concerns of parents, District staff, and other stakeholders. The insight I gained informed the actions I took to encourage better outcomes for our community. Whenever any stakeholder reaches out to me, I work diligently to provide correct information and/or to connect the stakeholder with the best individual in the District to address his or her concerns. I am always available to listen and assist.
Demonstrates Fiscal Responsibility
As a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, I work to balance the District’s and community’s goals for the future of OASD with the revenue streams available. When our revenue and expenses are in line, I have supported lower taxes. At times when revenue and expenses are not in balance, I have worked with District administration to find workable budgetary reductions, in an effort to keep tax increases as reasonable as possible. I understand the importance of maintaining a budget while investing for the future. I also understand that strong schools not only educate our children for the future, but also make our community a more attractive place to live, strengthening taxpayers' property values. Finally, in an effort to keep taxpayer's dollars in the District, I will work with District administration to better highlight all the benefits of an OASD education, so that more District families choose Oxford schools for their children's education.
Stakeholders should be confident that the performance of the District's Administrators is being carefully evaluated. At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, at my request, a committee was formed to revise the tool used to evaluate the performance of the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent as well as to review the year-long evaluation process. The new tool and revised review process was approved by the Board and is in place for the 2021-22 school year. I will continue to review the evaluation process, to ensure the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent evaluations are qualitative and meaningful.
Communication between the District and the Board and stakeholders must improve. I have written up and submitted a list of suggestions I believe will improve communication. I will work with fellow board members to create transparency in Board proceedings and foster dialogue between the Board and District stakeholders which encourages engagement. And as always, I will continue to personally remain available and responsive to stakeholders.
Parents have choices, and our District must be able to compete in today's education marketplace. I will work with District administration to create a campaign to highlight District achievements, successes, and the exemplary offerings of OASD so that we can better compete in that marketplace.