Curlin looks to return to board

Curlin+looks+to+return+to+board

Sophia Grueninger, Editor

Alexandra Curlin, mother of two past Washington Township students, served for about a year-and-a-half on the board starting in 2019. Curlin is running in District One against Deirdre George Davis. In 2018, Curlin won a seat on the board against Don Kite. However a little while after Curlin was seated on the board, Kite appealed the election results as both himself and Curlin ran in District Two, yet Curlin was living in District One without realizing it. After a lengthy time in the courts, Curlin was ruled ineligible for the position and Kite was given the seat. Curlin looks to return to the board this year and promote academic excellence as well as a sense of community.

What are your short term goals for the township?
The immediate change I would make would be to have committees on the board. Everyone is elected, so not everyone comes with the same level of school matters. So tapping into our community with parents and teachers who have knowledge the school board doesn’t necessarily have, can help them make decisions. Strong academics and community partnerships, then of course making sure we have a budget in place that thinks about the future.

What are your long term goals for the township?
Numbers have to move, we have to see academic success in our student body, we have to meet kids where they are. What I will say about the North Central program is that it is the most rigorous program in our county, Brebeuf, Park Tudor and Cathedral can call their classes AP, IB, Advanced, honors but what they are doing is nothing compared to NC. With this, you need support on that there are a ton of kids who come to North Central come to be on that track but their parents have to support them by getting them tutors and after school help. Then there are a lot of people who won’t come to North Central unless they are in that program so one of the things I proposed would be keeping the AP,IB classes but it would be really nice to have a layer in between honors and regular.

Why do you want to be on the school board?
I am not special, I do not need to be the person on the board doing this. Anyone who has the same thoughts and ideas. It doesn’t have to be me. I am really proud of what I did last time. I wanna run because I am the one talking about these problems. If someone else wants to fight for my ideas god bless them and I hope that in the future someone does. Really what I think people do not get about public office is that the public office is not about the office holder, it’s about the public and the district. Unfortunately, the reason I am running is because I don’t feel like they are doing it very seriously and so I decided to run but I know that it doesn’t have to be me, there is nothing special about me.

What is the number one thing you would change within the township? Why would you change it?
I would want to make sure that we have goals in place. I realized that our board did not have any district goals, so as an administration we have nothing to give to the superintendent. So what happens when you do not have goals is nothing is coordinated to get to one end. So goals will help you streamline and allocate your resources so that you can get to a specific end and specific thing. When I talk about the achievement gap and equity, those things are still there in the back of my mind but to get there you have to talk small steps. One of those things was having district goals, I was proud of the fact that now we have district goals which is something we hadn’t had. So now that we have the goals we have to have accountability.

How would your goals help the students and teachers?
While I was on the board teachers got both a 9% raise and a 3% raise in 2 years, but they are pretty well taken care of. I want to bring them support staff. I think that there are tons of kids who come to school ready to go and learn but there are kids who do not come that way. If those kids are in your classroom while you are ready to go YOU cannot learn and so I think that the support staff has to expand.The best way to support teachers is to put things in place that allows them to do what they want to do and what they are good at. For students, I want to support them as well. Tutors aren’t always affordable to people which means if you want to be in an honors class at North Central and want a good tutor, it’s expensive. You should have support.There is no reason that in a public setting you should have to pay that kind of money to succeed in a public setting, that is not appropriate.There is a huge difference between CP classes and honors classes. The regular are night and day difference with honors. Teaching style, homework load, content of the classes, the peers, the rigor. Everything about it is different. I think there needs to be a middle between the CP classes and the honors classes.

What strengths do you have that would help/improve the township?
I am not special, I just have ideas that I think are important and that the township needs. I will fight and advocate for what I think is right and I think the principles I am trying to bring up in the township like equity and creating a community are very important and worth fighting for. I think that because I was both an attorney and teacher I can relate to what teachers are going through.

What motivates you to want to be a school board member?
What motivates me to be on the board are the students. Whenever I engage with a WT student, I am so impressed by that student. I am impressed by what they’ve gone through and how they desire to excel- regardless of their level. I’m impressed by their view of inclusivity and their ability to articulate the changes that they believe would have made their experience more positive. I’m impressed by their parents and all they have sacrificed to ensure that their children succeed in Washington Township. I’m sad when I talk to students/parents who tell me they had to leave our district because their needs weren’t met, when those needs easily could have been. My children had such positive experiences that I want all students and families to benefit from all that our district has to offer. We really are an amazing option and I want everyone to know it .