It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve my neighbors, the students, and the schools of Ward 6 for the past four years. Being trusted by my colleagues to serve as State Board President for the last year of the term was the icing on the cake of a wonderful experience of public service.
As a member, I am deeply proud of our work as a State Board and with our partners at OSSE to revise the D.C. Social Studies Standards to ensure that all students in the District have access to knowledge and skills that are up-to-date and can serve as windows and mirrors for them to learn about the world and their place in it. I am also exceptionally proud of our collective work to update the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan to make it more equitable and responsive to feedback received by D.C. stakeholders over the first five years of implementation.
I am grateful to my colleagues for their willingness to focus on and advocate for greater student safety – en route to school, at school, after school, and in their communities. We called for improvements in Safe Passage, Safe Routes to School, reporting on issues of sexual assault in schools, and coordination between agencies and community partners seeking to reduce violence amongst young people. I hope that our work continues to yield improvements for children and families in the years ahead.
I most valued my interaction with our Student Representatives and Student Advisory Committee over the past four years. Student voice has a real place in the work of our State Board and that is due to the hard work and staunch advocacy of our student representatives.
Finally, I am incredibly proud of the work I was able to do with Vice President Eboni-Rose Thompson and the staff of our State Board to hire a new Executive Director, Bernice Butler, to further grow the staff team to include an Education Standards Specialist, and to seek recognition for our staff, students and work at forums like the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). Our team is the best in D.C. government and our work is a testament to their efforts.