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    Hello!

    Thank you for stopping here. Several of you have requested more background information on my views than what I have provided so far, so here's my solution: a space where I can properly do that. On here I will add speeches that I have made and thoughts on relevant topics. I hope this helps your decision, but, as always, feel free to write me with questions and concerns that I'm not addressing.

     

    Here's a copy of the speech I gave at a local event with T.J. Fadeley back in September. It's a basic introduction to me and where I'm coming from:

    - Are you frustrated with the direction Albemarle Public Schools is taking?

    -Are you appalled at the 30 percentage point drop in SOL scores since 2010?

    -Are you thinking that the core mission of a public school system, which is to impart on our community’s children the knowledge and wisdom to become successful individuals and strong citizens, is taking second or even third place to environmental, ideological, and social justice concerns?

    -Are you exasperated that 70% of your property tax bill is now consumed by this same school system? A school system whose costs are dramatically and continually going up, while the student population has actually decreased, as parents choose other options they believe to be better for the children.

    If these are your concerns, then I might be your candidate.

    Here’s a little bit about me and how it relates to the job of school board member. In no particular order:

    -I am a frugal Quaker. If there’s a simple, inexpensive way to get the job done effectively, that’s what I do. I say what I mean, I mean what I say, I’m strong enough to stand by my words, and my words now are that I believe everyone has “That of God” within them;  I respect every individual, regardless of other factors, on that quality alone.  

    -I am founder and Chief Operating Officer of a multi-million dollar medical group with a staff of 45 that I’ve relocated to Albemarle County and which does contract work for the federal government. I manage finances, plan budgets, negotiate contracts, hire personnel and more. Also in that capacity, I have not only held a Secret security clearance, but was our company’s Facility Security Chief, responsible for maintaining everyone else’s clearance as well. This means I have been fully vetted by several federal agencies who have determined my personal stability, character, and trustworthiness to be of the highest standard. You will have no unwelcome surprises from me.

    -I am a military spouse (retired), having stood steadfast by my husband’s side for the entire 25 years of his service and deployments, regardless of what location that took us to. I have proven myself to be infinitely adaptable, resourceful, a quick study, and generally of good humor even in the toughest of times.

    -I am the mother of 3 very successful adult children: 2 biological and 1 who we adopted as a severely neglected little girl from a war zone in Sierra Leone, and who was my greatest parenting challenge. That little girl is now a college graduate and business woman who is running our company so I can be here campaigning without worry. My children have thrived through multiple schooling options, including public, private, homeschool, and a school in Germany where no English was even spoken. Another of my children has a PhD in chemistry, is a patent holder, and a founder of a medical device company creating a new drug delivery system. She’s also a talented musician. Growing up, she was an absolute consumer of knowledge, and I worked hard to keep her needs met, doing much supplementing of school material because even gifted programs were not enough for her.  From all of this I’ve learned that the most important people in a child’s education are their parents. Parents must always be welcome in the school system to observe, to question, to learn, to inspire, to assist.

    -I come from an immigrant Italian family. My mother came here when she was 4. Neither she nor her parents spoke a word of English. Later, she and my dad did not teach me Italian because of the difficulties she faced as a non-English speaker in school.  I myself spent 7 years living and working in Germany and studied hard to learn that language. It’s not easy to have a child in a school that teaches in a different language from your own. Years later, back in the US, my daughter confided in me that back then, she used to be embarrassed over how stupid I was compared to the other adults, not understanding that they had the luxury of speaking in their native language. I’ve also had to teach our adopted daughter to speak before the neurological window for speech closed. She was that neglected. So when I say I understand the issues facing ESL students --- trust me on that one.

    -There’s much more. I was a PTO President, I had a career as an artist, exhibiting and selling my paintings in the US and Germany; I’ve got a Masters degree in Philosophy --- the analytic kind, not the sit on the mountaintop and ponder the Universe kind; and I know a considerable amount about building construction, facility maintenance, and project management. All this is to say that I can cover the wide breadth of needs that face a school board member.

    And if you drive down route 799 and notice how clean it always is, that’s me too, along with my fellow trash picking neighbors. No job is too small to matter.

    I know there is much I will need to learn as a school board member, but I hope that my track record here convinces you that I am up to the task and unafraid to put in the effort to make the students of Albemarle shine their brightest. Thank you.

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