5:12 PM EDT, October 20, 2012
Date of birth: Jan. 15, 1980
Address: 1040 Pope Ave., Hagerstown
Education: Graduated from South River High School in Edgewater, Md.; bachelor's degree in history and public policy from St. Mary's College of Maryland; law degree from the University of Baltimore.
Occupation: An associate attorney at (Bruce) Poole & Kane, P.A. He also is legal counsel for the Washington County Department of Social Services child welfare and family services division.
Party affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: NoneQ: What more should WCPS do to prevent bullying, including cyberbullying?
It is extremely important to prevent bullying and the marginalization of students inside and outside the classroom. As with any problem, identification and awareness are keys to prevention. WCPS can improve education and awareness of the warning signs of bullying. More importantly, it should engage parents and families to be actively involved in the process, particularly when it comes to cyberbullying. The increase in the use of social media mandates that staff, students, parents and communities all be active participants in bullying prevention.
Q: Is there a specific area in which WCPS needs to improve student outcomes? If so, identify the area and suggest a course of action.
I believe that WCPS delivers a top quality education to the students and community. I also believe that success can always be improved upon. Generally, I think WCPS can improve career readiness for students, whether it is college or vocational development. This would mean placing an equal emphasis on both educational tracks and cultivating individual student abilities and interests. In addition, WCPS must be cognizant of the role of technology in students' educational experience and use it to enhance instruction.
Q: What can the school system do to improve literacy among elementary school students?
I think one of the keys to improving literacy at the elementary school level is extending reading and learning beyond the classroom. Encouraging parents and families to get involved in reading with students will facilitate literacy development both outside and inside the classroom. This would include partnering with the library and other outside organizations to develop reading and learning programs outside the classroom. In light of the role of technology in students' daily lives, there should also be an emphasis on incorporating online and interactive programs into interdisciplinary learning.
Q: In light of the increasing costs for school construction and advances in technology, do you want the school system to change direction in how the curriculum is delivered and how so?
The rising cost of school construction and maintenance, and the continuous advances in technology have a substantial impact on how the curriculum is delivered. In addition, the changes in curriculum content impact the resources necessary for effective delivery to students. The combination of these elements require the Board of Education to continually evaluate the direction of curriculum and to take those steps necessary to achieve the goals and vision of WCPS within the bounds of the budget.
Q: What is one measure you would advocate to improve college readiness of graduates?
I would advocate further development of writing and oral presentation skills. A primary component of the college experience requires students to write, to explain methods, to make an argument or support a position. Enhancing students' ability to write and to speak well prepares them to be stronger candidates for admissions as well as to succeed once in college or higher education. In addition, such further development has the effect of improving graduates' ability to communicate effectively with fellow students, colleagues, and potential employers.
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