2018 School Board Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Ann Pierre


Candidate, School Board District 5

Responses submitted May 2018 to UnifiEd via Google Forms. Responses are published here exactly as submitted without editing.

Question 1 – Racial & Socioeconomic Desegregation
As a school board member, I commit to working together with the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to develop a plan to end socioeconomic and racial segregation. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. The HCDE is responsible for the development of plans through its superintendent to meet any socioeconomic or racial segregation issue that exist in the school system. Certainly no one is an advocate of denying an individual the right to a quality education because of their status in society or their ethnic background. As a board member I will work to ensure that all people are treated equally by reviewing the current practices and advocating for new ways to deal with a national as well as a local issue.

Question 2 – Racial & Socioeconomic Desegregation
As a school board member, I commit to actively partnering with community members to demand the end of socioeconomic and racial segregation in our schools. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. As a board member, I will work with the community to end all issues dealing with any type of inequality in the schools. Most assuredly, I will seek the advice of the parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders. As a board member it will be my responsibility to adhere to all laws and regulations that currently exist to end disparities as a result of ethnic and socioeconomic issues, and to advocate for new ways to combat these same issues.

Question 3 – Supporting the People in Our Schools
As a school board member, I commit to supporting better relationships and engagement by working together with the schools in my district to ensure students and teachers have a voice in issues that matter to them. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. It is my goal to develop a new model to effectively bring the teacher, student and parent into the dialogue associated with decisions that are made to effectively operate the schools in the district.

Question 4 – Supporting the People in Our Schools
As a school board member, I commit to working with central office to ensure teaching and student programs provide personalized support, especially to those with special needs and minority identities (like English-language learners and LGBTQ+ students). Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. The support that is needed by the student is the reason for education, and that support includes the total person. Any program that is supported by central office that does not consider the total student should be eliminated. We have opportunities to learn from best practices of others to gear our plans for our students.

Question 5 – Community Engagement & Empowerment
As a school board member, I commit to working with school leadership to provide creative, accessible avenues for parents and community members to support schools and children. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will commit to working with the leadership to be creative in the manner in which people and organizations are called upon to engage in developing good schools. There are some steps that have been made by leadership and the community to promote engagement in education in our community. In addition, I will work with the businesses, local organizations and parents to revitalize the parent teacher association within the schools. We need eyes and ears to help measure the usefulness of any changes that are implemented as well as an unbiased tool for measurement.

Question 6 – Community Engagement & Empowerment
As a school board member, I commit to partnering with local organizations and businesses to support and provide resources in our schools. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will work and partner with local organizations and businesses to support and provide resources in our schools. The per pupil expenditure to operate a school to produce students who meet the standards that are set by various entities necessarily indicative of the quality of education. The per pupil expenditures are not providing the same quality of education as a like school, so clearly it is not completely the amount of money spent. I believe we should develop a need defined model that determines the strengths and weakness of the particular school environment and ask for help in meeting the school need. Money and other resources are not the desired end, the educational needs of a particular group of schools must be assessed.

Question 7 – Supporting the Whole Child
As a school board member, I commit to working with schools to ensure students’ mental and emotional health needs are supported.  Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I commit to support the existing programs and to as with the development of other programs that can be measured to assist with the mental, emotional and health needs of the students as well as the teachers. I will commit to requesting support from those entities that are experts in the field of needs assessments. We have certain processes that a school must use to make such determinations, but current policy should be evaluated and replaced with best practices. This area is one that is a part of our evolving society and is being addressed on different fronts, so we as board members are responsible for promoting those policies that support a healthy physical and mental environment.

Question 8 – Supporting the Whole Child
As a school board member, I commit to partnering with and supporting community organizations to ensure children can access mentoring, field trips, and early childhood education. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I do commit to supporting and partnering with community organizations to ensure children can access mentoring, field trips, and early childhood education. I would work with the superintendent to access the current policy and procedure and make sure that we look at safe sanctuary for the children and utilize current programs that engage support the current curriculum for the students. Each program should for activities of the students should support the end result of learning. It is documented that the first five years of a person’s life is the most formative and developmental years. In addition, I would ask that we assess the current allocation of funds to determine proper utilization.

Question 9 – Funding & Budgeting
As a school board member, I commit to prioritizing funds for capital expenses to make sure all school facilities are safe and healthy learning spaces, and ensuring there is a long-term plan to keep them that way. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will support the prioritizing of funds for capital expenditures and that those expenditures are properly used in the support of the physical appearance design that promotes learning. I would work with the board, superintendent, county commission and stakeholders to develop a process of capital maintenance and longevity of the buildings and fields. The debt service that is borne by the taxpayers should be looked at and a determination should be made concerning the balance of debt and property taxes. I would work first with the district commissioner to causes a study of the effective use of capital expenditures for the schools.

Question 10 – Funding & Budgeting
As a school board member, I commit to prioritizing funding to recruit, support, and keep the best teachers. Yes or NoIf yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I do support the use of funds to recruit, support, and keep the best teachers. I will look into various programs that previously and currently exist to give incentives to teachers and support staff. Additionally, I would assess the use of Federal and non-profit dollars that are given to the schools for various programs to determine the effectiveness of these dollars. Next, I would work with the local chamber as executives are recruited to the city to determine the attitude of these individuals to the schools that feed workers to their company. As a board member, I would support the development of a progressive line of promotion within the HCDE that is geared first to classroom success and next to administrative promotion. There should be a clear understanding of what is required of a teacher to receive incentives and or desired promotions. The testing of students, does not necessarily determine an effective and trained teacher.

Question 11- Supporting the Whole Child
As a school board member, I commit to ensuring all students have access to early childhood education programs so every child enters kindergarten ready to learn. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. As previously stated every child should have early education intervention. First, I will determine the number of students in a given area that are eligible to enter pre-K and work through community groups and individuals to increase the participation of all qualified students. Next, a relationship should be developed between the HCDE and the local day care owners to help in their curriculum, so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected of the children when they enter pre-K. Those parents who keep their children in the home can be engaged as a community project with various community stakeholders. The cost associated with these endeavors should be minimum but a well-spent dollar. There should be a clear continuation of education that would cover most students in our schools.

Question 12 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to working with community partners and HCDE to expand community schools throughout the county to provide holistic support to neighborhoods and communities. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will commit to working with community partners and HCDE to expand the community school concept. HCDE has begun work in this area, but community schools must be assessed in terms of transition in neighborhoods and socioeconomic diversity. I will work with fellow board members and the community to promote and develop good schools for Hamilton County, Tennessee.

Question 13 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to setting standards for our board and actively participating in a transparent self-assessment process. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will support the policy that is currently in place for self-evaluation. There are various methods that can be used for self-evaluation, but one would be to determine if the budgets are developed and assessed as to the intended purposes. A structural evaluation of the use of the current policy and procedures and how effective they are in guiding and reporting the work that is required to have good schools that produce the best students.

Question 14 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to ensuring current school system funds are efficiently spent. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will commit to ensuring that school funds are effectively used by asking for an on-going analysis of the money spent and the result obtained.

Question 15 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to working with HCDE to create a 5-year budget and strategic plan connecting money to improved student outcomes. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I will commit to working with HCDE to continuously develop a strategic plan and a 3-year budget with extended projections for 5 years. This is a fundamental concept and tool for any board member to effectively analyze and carry out the efficient operation of the schools. The outcomes of the student are tied more explicitly to the strategic plan and should be developed in a comprehensive model that determines the proper weight to dollars and student outcomes.