A mother of a first-grader in the Phoenix Elementary District and an experienced classroom teacher with a Doctorate in Education Leadership, Dr. Alicia Vink would like to become a member of her son’s district school board.
Running on a platform of equity for all students, parent representation, and improved instructor working conditions, Dr. Vink wants to bring a teacher’s perspective with a sensitivity to the needs of the local community to the board.
If elected, working to ensure racial and cultural equity will be her first priority.
Dr. Vink was gracious to take the time to discuss her candidacy for the Phoenix Elementary School Board.
The questions and her responses are below.
- What are your qualifications to serve on the board?
“First and foremost, I am a mother and my son Lyndon is a first-grader at Emerson School in the Phoenix Elementary District. Our family lives in the neighborhood and we are very connected to the community. We love being able to walk to school in the mornings. It is important to our family that we are connected to the community and support our public school. For nearly 20 years I’ve been working with families, first in early childhood and after school programs, then as a public-school classroom teacher and foster family for high needs children, and as a leader in many volunteer organizations including those supporting military families as we are an Army National Guard family.”
- Please tell us three reasons you are running for the school board.
- “I am running to ensure all students have the resources they need to succeed.”
- “Parent voices need to be represented more in our district. There are currently no parents with children enrolled in the district on the Governing Board.”
- “I have experienced first-hand how difficult it can be to be a classroom teacher in AZ and the necessity for Board support to make their teachers have what they need.”
- How would you rate the current school board you are running to be a part of and please explain why?
“We need a more diverse board to represent families, public school teachers, Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, and our LGBTQ students. We need candidates that understand the hours and hours of work required. This can’t be a political stepping stone. Families are counting on us.”
- In your opinion, what are the three most important education issues schools and all stakeholders in the district face?
“Recently our school board has struggled to agree on a resolution to acknowledge Black Lives Matter. The most important issue to ensure all of our students have the opportunity to succeed in establishing a common understanding within the district from the top down of how white privilege and racism have upheld the educational system and then systematically dismantling it.”
“This contributes to disparities in learning outcomes, teacher retention struggles, and our declining student enrollment.”
“All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter.”
- What are your views on the implementation of the district reopening in the fall? Or for summer?
“I believe we need to follow guidance from medical professionals and researchers to keep our communities safe and ensure we have a plan for racial justice.”
- To what extent should your school district ensure all students have access to high broadband and a laptop/tablet for virtual learning should the fall opening be delayed?
“My understanding is that our district has distributed devices, paid internet, and tech help as needed. I hope these resources continue to be the norm.”
- In your opinion, please advise at least one way your school district should make up for any of the lost learning time of this last academic quarter.
“Our students have experienced trauma in the midst of COVID-19 and will need social and emotional supports. The first priority should be addressing those.”
- Is there anything not covered in the first seven questions that you would like the reader to know
“I would like families reading this to know that our public schools need you and your voice matters. Together we can make a difference. I want to spend time in each of the 14 schools every month to engage with our students, teachers, and families. I want to get to know all of the stakeholders.”
For more information on Dr. Vink and her candidacy, please click on her Facebook Page here.
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