Voters’ Guide: Millard School Board

The MPS Board of Education creates policies and rules and helps the district implement our Strategic Plan.  This site includes current and archived board agendas, audio recordings of board meetings, upcoming schedule of meetings and policies & rules.  — from the board’s website

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

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Candidates for Millard Board of Education

David M. Anderson (R):  Web Site: http://Facebook Page  “Dave Anderson for Millard School Board”.  Current Public Office, dates held: Millard Schools Board of Education 2007 – Current.  Past Public Office, dates held: None. Education: MBA – University of Arizona BSBA – University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Military experience: None.  Volunteer experience: Board of Directors service with: Millard Board of Education, Millard Schools Foundation, Nebraska Association of School Boards, Omaha Childrens Museum, Goodwill Industries, Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, Omaha Chamber of Commerce Small Business

Stacy Jolley (D):  Web Site: http://www.stacyjolley.com/.  Current Public Office, dates held: Millard Public Schools Board of Education, Feb 2018 – present.  Past Public Office, dates held: n/a.  Education: University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration;  Marketing major; Communications and Psychology minors;  Study abroad at Oxford University – Economics.  Military experience: n/a.  Volunteer experience: Weekly volunteer for MPS for 14 years.  MPS Foundation Pres., classroom volunteer, PTO Pres., District Cmtes, etc., Girl Scout Leader, Asst Cubmaster, YMCA bball coach, Harvey Oaks HOA Membership chair, FRIENDS/Stuttering conference organizer, etc.

Mike Kennedy (R):  Web Site: http://parentsformikekennedy.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: Millard School Board 2003 to Present, City of Omaha Library Board 2015 to Present, City of Omaha Omaha Naming Committee 2014 to Present.  Past Public Office, dates held: Metro Community College Board, 1999 to 2002, Omaha Charter Review Committee 2014.  Education: University of Nebraska at Omaha Bachelors of Science Political Science, Creighton University School of Law Juris Doctorate.  Military experience: None.  Volunteer experience: Boy Scouts of America, Millard Public Schools, Various local charities.

Dulce Sherman  (D):  http://www.Sherman4MPSBoard.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: Not currently.  Past Public Office, dates held: None.  Education: Graduate Certificate Program, Organization Development, Fielding Graduate Institute, Master of Arts degree, Management, Bellevue University, Bachelor of Science degree, Human Resources Management, Bellevue University.  Military experience: Not applicable.  Volunteer experience: Latino Center of the Midlands Board,  Women’s Fund Circles, Millard Foundation Board,  2018 Women’s Center for Advancement Honoree, Latinx Caucus Chair & Executive Board, NDP, Latino Rep & Executive Board, Douglas County, Healthcare Sector Board.

Millard Board of Education Candidates’ Responses

If elected, what two things do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your first year?

David M. Anderson:  I have served for 12 years up to this point.  I hope to utilize only a small portion of the levy override authority given to the board of education in the latest levy override election recently passed by Millard voters, while being able to maintain current diverse curriculum offerings.  I also hope to continue to grow community collaborations with other organizations who are in-line and can help support the mission of Millard Schools.  A example of this would be the opening of Boys/Girls Club.

Stacy Jolley:  We need to maximize every dollar in our budget in light of another $2M+ shortfall from the state. With this being a yearly event, we need to examine every program to make sure it passes a cost/benefit analysis. We have to preserve the amazing opportunities in our district while being mindful of our taxpayers’ needs. I also want to work on getting more parents into our middle schools. Increased parent engagement at that level will translate into higher scores and student engagement.

Mike Kennedy:  I have served on the Millard School Board for the past 16 years.  If reelected, I would like to continue to work on the district’s finances and improve our programs the make sure our children are college and/or career ready. The Board of Education has been a good steward of the district’s finances and we have improved our children’s test scores.  My experience on the Board of Education will help us in achieving these goals during the next 4 years.

Dulce Sherman:  I will host “town hall” discussions with all stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, unions, board, PTO) to introduce myself, create two-way dialogue and listen to their feedback.  I will discuss and begin building a new creative funding strategy.  We have relied too much on our property taxes. With the changing demographics, it’s time we come up with new ideas, build partnerships with our legislature, and community to keep all funding in our public schools.

How can schools use technology to create better equity and educational outcomes?

David M. Anderson:  Technology is a tool for instruction and not the end all.  Technology allows for a cost efficient and effective way to teach curriculum and track educational outcomes.  Technology is used in all aspects of running the Millard Public schools and our students have embraced it throughout the experience in Millard.

Stacy Jolley:  Putting devices in kids’ hands is not the end, it’s the means. For kids w/o access to tech, this helps level the playing field and sends the learning home. Using district-provided devices, students take MAP tests 3x/year. With instant scores, teachers can address kids’ knowledge gaps in real time. New software creates an individualized lesson based on MAP scores, which allows every kid to get exactly what they need. It keeps kids from slipping through the cracks with gaps in their learning.

Mike Kennedy:  During my tenure on the Millard School Board we have dramatically improved our students access to technology and its use in our classrooms. Our “One to One” computer program has been successfully implemented at the Middle and High School level and we will now tackle the issue in the elementary schools.  All of our children has access to current technology and our curriculum has been adapted to reap the benefits that technology offers our students. Our teachers really do a great job.

Dulce Sherman:  Technology plays an important role in “access to education”.  However, we need to provide internet access to all students.   Social media is playing a bigger role in ease of communication.  We rely too much on social media at times by replacing the face to face communication.  Some student households may not have access to the internet, social media or a cell phone.  Therefore, we need to ensure all students are receiving the necessary communication.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ENSURE SAFETY OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS IN OUR SCHOOLS?

What can be done to ensure the safety of students and teachers in our schools?

David M. Anderson:  Millard has focused and expended significant resources to address safety in our schools over the past 5 years. We have made significant improvements for safety thru physical and technology security measures.  We have worked in conjunction with law enforcement on all school building plans and have been through a variety of audits and reviews around those plans.  We have been commended and recognized as a leader around safety planning for schools.

Stacy Jolley:  We must focus on the social/emotional needs of our students. Years ago, kids came to school with fewer worries, less stress, and fewer adverse life events. In today’s world, many of our students struggle with anxiety, depression, and life upheaval. What used to be assumed, now must be taught. Teaching kindness, respect, and personal responsibility will go a long way toward making our schools safer, happier, and more productive. We have secure buildings; we must focus on reaching kids’ hearts.

Mike Kennedy:  Since the shooting at Millard South, our community and the Board of Education has made a strong commitment to school safety.  As a member of the school board, I supported and campaigned for the upgrades at our buildings to make our schools safer.  These included securing our entrances, adding cameras, adding doors to open classrooms and making sure our staff is properly trained in safety protocols. I will work to continue to review our safety plan and update it as necessary.

Dulce Sherman:  Early adolescent assessment would help us understand what is happening in a child’s life.  It may help identify children at risk and the ability to “proactively” intervene with the necessary Community Resources if the School is unable to provide the necessary resources like counseling.  However, keeping a pulse of student’s morale is important.  As a Human Resources leader, I am accustomed to holding organizational discussions to understand the pulse and creating remedies to address concerns.

What role, if any, should charter schools have in the Nebraska educational system?

David M. Anderson: I am not a proponent of Charter schools.  We have great private schools in Nebraska already thru religious affiliations.  I am a strong advocate for public education and do not want to see monies re-distributed away from public schools.  We are lucky in Nebraska as we have great public schools districts.  In Omaha, families can not make a bad decision as to where to send their children to a public school.  The research is mixed as to the effect of charter schools.  I do not believe we need them.

Stacy Jolley:  No tax dollars should be spent on charter schools. It is the government’s responsibility to educate ALL children. By extension, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to educate ALL children. Therefore, no tax dollars should be spent on any school that can turn children away due to ability. Charter schools siphon off money meant for all and channel it to the chosen few. No tax dollars should be spent enriching a for-profit school. Data shows they don’t do better and they rob others of funding.

Mike Kennedy:  I am not a supporter of independent charter schools.  I believe school districts have the ability to create programs of excellence like we have in Millard.  If there are issues with a school district’s quality, it is up to the State of Nebraska and the community members to improve their schools.  Using the word “charter” in a school does not guarantee that a school will provide a quality education.

Dulce Sherman:  I believe we need to keep an open mind to new ideas.  Charter schools is one idea that has had some success in other States.  Nebraska doesn’t have any laws in place to govern Charter Schools.  Therefore, I do not support Charter schools.  I believe in keeping all funding in our Public Schools.

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