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Devon Rothschild: An advocate for student success

Devon Rothschild: An advocate for student success
(Carroll County Times)

My name is Devon Rothschild and I am a candidate for the Carroll County Board of Education. I am proud to have my young children enrolled in our public schools and will work hard to keep Carroll County Public Schools a national leader in education.

As a strong supporter of our public schools I am directly involved in the school system as a classroom volunteer, a substitute teacher, and an active member of the PTA. I regularly speak on behalf of our students at Board of Education, Commissioner, and Town Hall meetings. This year, I have met with many teachers, parents, administrators, and students, as well as visited many of our schools. I am familiar with the unique strengths of our schools, but I also understand the areas that need improvement. I am running for the Board of Education so that I can continue to advocate for the success of each child who attends Carroll County Public Schools, as well as support the best interests of our staff, families, and community.

Although our public schools have a high success rate in meeting the needs of our students, there are several areas of the school system that need improvement. The heart of any school system is its' teachers and staff. Despite cuts to funding and staff and a slew of unfunded state mandates, those involved in our schools have found ways to ensure that our children continue to learn and succeed. As a community, we must make sure that our teachers have the supports they need to continue doing their jobs. Similar to a successful business, our school system needs to offer good salaries to attract and retain talented workers. Carroll County Public Schools have the lowest starting salary in Maryland and its teachers have not received a raise or step increase in five out of the past six years. Teachers can make thousands of dollars more each year simply by teaching in surrounding counties, so Carroll County Public Schools must provide them with competitive salaries. In addition, our teachers need increased professional development opportunities to address challenges arising from the newly implemented curriculum and more resources to allow for differentiated learning for our students.

Our students require high-functioning and secure buildings in which to learn. I will work with our county commissioners to develop a fiscally responsible plan to begin to address the backlog of capital needs in our school buildings. We need a realistic long-term plan to address general maintenance issues, modernizations, and deficiencies in technology. There are schools with leaking roofs and crumbling pavements, schools that lack up-to-date science classrooms and are not ADA-compliant, and qualified students that are turned away from the Carroll County Career and Technology Center because of lack of space. Our students need and deserve a quality learning environment in order to continue to excel.

While serving on the Board of Education, I will ask for increased community support for our schools. All citizens of Carroll County need to recognize the benefits associated with having a strong school system. These benefits include increased property values, an influx of home and business owners, and most importantly, students who leave the school system as adults that are able to excel in society. Parents of our students need to know they are integral in their child's learning and need to be provided with more opportunities for involvement. Open lines of communication throughout our school system are crucial to attaining these goals.

I recognize that this is a long list of improvements, but I believe each is vital in accomplishing our number one goal of student success. I know I can make a powerful impact as a Board of Education member by continuing to advocate for our students, staff, and families. I look forward to being a voice for every student in our community. Please consider giving me your vote on June 24th and November 4th.

Personal note: Devon Rothschild is of no relation to Commissioner Richard Rothschild.

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