I wrote this page in 2010. It still offers a good background on my experiences. For an update please see my Reflections on the Last Four Years.
As I expected, I have greatly enjoyed my two years in retirement. (See the 2008 retirement story in the archives of the Rock Hill Herald). I earned Master Gardener Certification, developed a food and flower garden in my front yard, am serving on the Habitat for Humanity Board and have been involved in six house builds, taught a section of a Reading Instruction course for Winthrop Elementary Education majors, visited our daughter in California, traveled to Europe, South Africa, and soon in China, spent quality time with my mom, biked with my husband, etc.
However, education continues to be the focus of what is most important in my life. Public education now has inadequate resources to meet the growing need to produce quality citizens able to compete in a global economy. No other institution plays so critical a role in creating the flexible workforce of tomorrow (especially as low-end jobs continue to disappear and to be automated).
My experiences in public education have taught me there are valid and successful practices that — with hard work and determination of all involved — enable children from all backgrounds to be successful. I wish to bring that knowledge and determination to the Rock Hill Schools Board of Trustees. I want to continue to be a strong voice for children.
My Background in Education
- I first taught elementary grades in North Carolina and Georgia.
- While my husband John taught at the University of South Carolina in Columbia I earned my PhD in School Psychology from USC.
- I worked for more than 10 years as a School Psychologist in Richland County District One located in inner city Columbia, SC. I came to believe that, while remediation and special education services for children who need them are absolutely necessary, for most children educational success comes from strong, organized, appropriately paced, regular classroom settings.
- I was fortunate to be asked to become assistant principal at a large inner city Columbia school and thus made the switch into elementary administration. I was an elementary administrator for 20 years.
- For seven years I was principal of an inner city Dayton, Ohio school. The ranking of our 73% lower socio-economic school moved from 13 out of 24 in the district up to being one of the top five elementary schools in academic performance.
- In 1998 my husband and I moved to Rock Hill for me to become principal at Finley Road Elementary. After four years there I was asked to become part of the district-wide rezoning in 2002 and move across town to assume the leadership of Belleview Elementary. There I stayed until retirement in 2008. See a couple of comments about Belleview Elementary from anonymous parents from a “Best Places School” website.
- In Rock Hill Schools I was very blessed to have strong capable staffs ready to undertake the hard work necessary to learn and use effective teaching practice that would move children toward successful futures. Perhaps the greatest success came at Belleview where we were able to work together for six years. When teachers throughout the grades used both pre-tests and post-tests to determine performance on each standard and consistently re-taught missed concepts to those who needed it the increase in student achievement was significant and gratifying.
Though I was ready to retire from being a principal I am not ready to retire from involvement in the education of children. I have nothing but admiration for our Superintendent and present Board for their work during the present economic starvation forced upon our schools. I believe that my experience can provide insight into the day-to-day running of schools and the needs of staff and students. My presence would bring additional practical knowledge to the team already in place.