Because of my family’s sacrifices, education is a large part of who I am. My parents worked hard so that they could provide me with what they believed to be the best education available. They sent me to "pre-school" in my Grandmother’s living room because my "Ma Ma Ma" was, in my parents’ opinion, the best pre-school teacher in our neighborhood - and because it was free. I went to private school for my elementary, middle, and high school years. As my parents often reminded me, unlike Ma Ma Ma’s pre-school, these schools were not free. But Mom and Dad were willing to work hard and make sacrifices to send me to such schools. They understood from their own experiences growing up poor and black in the years following school desegregation and during the Civil Rights Movement that education is the most valuable tool we have for our success. My family understood that, even though all children in this country are promised a quality public education, not all of us receive it.
My story is not unique. I know that every parent wants the same thing for their children that my parents wanted for me: the best education available. But not every student is as fortunate as I was; some parents work hard and make unimaginable sacrifices, but still have to worry about whether their children are getting the best education possible. That is unacceptable. All parents deserve to be able to send their child to their local public school and feel confident that, in so doing, their child will receive a high-quality education. Parents should be able to sincerely believe that the city prioritizes their child’s education in the same way they do. That’s why I became a teacher here in Atlanta. And that’s why I’m running for the School Board.
On the Board of Education, I will work tirelessly to ensure that every child in this city has access to high-quality public schools, no matter where they live. I will work to improve literacy rates, increase wraparound services and community partnerships, and focus on excellent leadership - from the top down. I will work with elected officials to make sure they prioritize our public schools and work just as hard as our parents do to provide our children with a great education. I will hold them accountable when they lose sight of that all-important goal. Just like my parents, I am willing to work hard and make sacrifices for the sake of our students’ education.
Our public schools should reflect the diversity, excellence, and power of our city, and be a source of pride. The promise of quality public education should mean that no parent has to choose between providing basic needs for their children and providing them with what they believe to be the best education available. Let’s improve upon Atlanta’s tradition of excellence by increasing access to top-quality public schools and thus ensuring that every child has the tools they need for success. I hope I can count on your support and your vote on November 7th.