Name : Barbara Read
Age : 43
Place of residence : Huron Farms in Dexter, MI
Attended college : Yes
College : Brigham Young University
Degree : B.S. in Zoology
Year of graduation : 1991
University : University of California at Berkeley
Degree : M.S. in Neuroscience from the Molecular and Cell Biology Department
Year of graduation : 1995
Job titles held : Graduate Student Instructor
Employers : University of California, Berkeley
Party affiliation : N/A
Running for a: Local office
Running for position: School Board Trustee
Chamber/district: Dexter Community Schools, Scio Township
Previous elective offices : N/A
Unsuccessful bids for elective offices: N/A
Address P.O. Box 313, Dexter MI. 48130
Name : N/A
My children have attended Dexter Community Schools ever since we moved to Dexter nine years ago. I have volunteered at Bates, Wylie, Creekside, Mill Creek, and Dexter High School, where I have seen the value of a student-centered approach to education.
Having spent hours in the classroom working with both struggling students and advanced students, I have learned the value of extra support for these children which not only meets their needs, but also frees up the classroom teacher to concentrate on the core curriculum during class time. Students who are either at risk of falling behind or have progressed ahead of the course work respond well to attention that meets their individual needs.
At no cost to the district, and very little cost to the PTO, I helped establish a mobile cart for use in individual classrooms at Wylie. As a board member, I will look for creative ways to meet the needs of every student in the district in ways that support the teachers in their classrooms. As a volunteer in the classroom, I have also been able to talk with parents about issues facing the schools and their ideas for improvement.
Many parents have expressed their concern that they do not have a voice with the board of education. Dexter parents want to feel that their ideas and concerns are heard by the board. As a board of education trustee, I will be an advocate for the parents of Dexter to ensure their opinions are expressed and considered at all board meetings. In fact, I am already doing so regularly at board meetings.
I have attended board meetings the last two years and helped the board to see the need for a flat playing field on the Wylie playground that can be used for soccer, football or just playing tag. I have worked to encourage parents to take a more active role in attending board meetings and find effective ways of communicating with board members.
Parent input was critical for restructuring the proposed pay-to-participate fees and ensuring that parents pay only for the sports their children actually plan to play. Before parent feedback, the fee was set to be $350 and even a student who only planned to play on one team was expected to pay the high premium.
At $250 to $500 per student, fees are still very high, but for the 80 percent of students who only join one sport, there will be some relief. Raising pay-to-participate fees is contrary to the goal of increasing participation. As a trustee, I will be your advocate, working to ensure your voice is heard in discussions about curriculum, budgets, policy, athletics, and other important education issues facing the Dexter community.
Perhaps the biggest issue facing the district today is how to continue providing a high quality education under an increasingly tighter budget. The school board has tough choices to make when considering among options, and parental input is vital. Our No. 1 priority for the district must be to provide a meaningful education for every student we serve. I will work to establish clear academic achievement standards to ensure that students graduating from Dexter Community Schools are prepared to succeed in adult life after high school in this challenging economy, whether their plans include college, vocational training, or some other path.
I look forward to serving the community as a dedicated school board trustee.