My Vision for Omaha Public Schools

Grow and Retain a Thriving Team

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Nebraska consistently ranks as a top 10 state in the nation for the quality of our public schools. I know this is due to the hard work of a devoted team. Omaha Public Schools (OPS) educators, staff, and administrators have demonstrated a commitment to excellence since 1859, and this commitment should be compensated in kind. Furthermore, this team deserves to be trusted and championed—not vilified or criminalized for the contents of the library or simply doing their jobs.

I am committed to ensuring our entire team, from admin to support staff, is satisfied with their compensation, enjoys a physically and psychologically safe environment at work, and sees meaningful investment in their professional development. 

Expand Access to Early Learning Programs

Scientific studies from all over the world indicate that quality early childhood learning such as pre-K can have major short- and long-term effects on cognitive and social-emotional development. Early learning has been linked to positive progress in school, increased lifetime earnings, reduced likelihood of negative behaviors, less dependence on government benefits, or becoming a casualty of the school-to-prison pipeline. Currently, OPS offers pre-K at six schools in the district.

I believe we have a duty to educate caregivers on and increase access to these services, which includes expanding to additional locations in order to more widely offer this vital educational component. 

Prepare Students for College or Career

Increasing equitable post-secondary access and success requires us to understand and address the college-or-career preparedness gap. OPS has already built out excellent programming to support high school students in their pursuit of real-world experience in their fields of interest, in conjunction with maintaining core and advanced academics. But more can be done.

I am committed to seeking out and strengthening further partnerships with community colleges, trade schools, and state universities to help our students find affordable, attainable education, transition successfully from high school to career, and improve their long-term economic stability.

Involved & Engaged Families

I see the education of children as a partnership between families, schools, and the community—but the #1 factor for student success is the involvement of their caregivers. Parents and caregivers are invited to be involved in and support their children’s education outside of the classroom, to be curious about that education, to help at home and show up to school events when possible, as well as be responsive to their children’s teachers and educators. In my many conversations with parents and other community members, we have discussed a wide range of topics, including addressing bullying and behaviors, closing existing gaps for special populations in academic performance, and working with language barriers.

I am committed to listening to parents and collaborating with schools to make a public education within OPS the best it can be for every student.

A Human-Centered, Empathy-Driven, Responsive School Community

I believe that our children learn and grow best in an environment that is academically engaging, inclusive, and responsive to their needs. When kids feel safe and accepted being their true selves, when they are supported through life’s difficulties, when they are seen and celebrated– that’s when they can lean into learning and learn how to excel. I believe every person in our incredibly diverse OPS community plays a role in having students’ backs and keeping students safe, in every sense of the word.

I am deeply committed to encouraging a culture of empathy where no student experiences school as an environment of exclusion.

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