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Balto. Co. educator seeks school board seat

Baltimore Sun

David Proudfoot plans to bring his firsthand knowledge of working as a Baltimore County assistant principal to Howard County if elected to the Board of Education.

Proudfoot, a resident of Howard County since 2006, said that his love of children and the desire to make a difference in students' lives has motivated him to run for the school board.

"I want to be in a position where I can work with others to ensure that all students in Howard County achieve academic excellence," Proudfoot said.

Proudfoot is one of two candidates who have filed to run for the four vacant seats on the school board in November. The other is Larry Walker, a parent who has been active in the school system for decades.

Proudfoot, 31, has been an assistant principal at Battle Grove Elementary in Dundalk since 2008. He began his teaching career as a substitute in Baltimore County and has taught in elementary schools in Florida. He became an assistant principal at a Florida elementary school before returning to Baltimore County. He began working at Oliver Beach Elementary School as an assistant principal in 2006, according to Baltimore County spokesman Charles Herndon.

In addition to his position in Baltimore County, Proudfoot works as a professor at the University of Phoenix. Proudfoot and his wife, April, chose to live in Howard County because they saw it as a great place to settle down and raise a family, he said.

"I am a qualified leader," he said. "[I] hold strong beliefs about how to make a school better."

At work, Proudfoot said he acts as an instructional leader by visiting classrooms regularly, providing feedback for teachers, introducing initiatives, managing a budget, creating a culture of high expectations and caring, and facilitating shared decision-making.

Jennifer Severson, principal at Battle Grove Elementary, has worked with Proudfoot for the past two years.

"He's a wonderful partner to me as a school principal," Severson said.

"He works very collaboratively," she said. "He's a good listener. He has strong views and opinions about what will improve student achievement. But he understands that doing that in a collaborative manner will build more buy-in from the stakeholders."

Proudfoot's platform revolves around academic excellence for all students.

"I will use my background and knowledge of improving student achievement to help the school board to find new and innovative ways to improve student performance," he said. "I will make decisions that will decrease the dropout rate and enable all students to graduate with the skills to become continuous learners. I will work to ensure that children are provided with learning experiences in an environment that encourages them to apply high rigor skills to real-world situations."

Proudfoot believes that achievement for all student groups is the greatest issue facing the school system.

"A continuing challenge for the system is to protect the student learning gains that have occurred and to close achievement gaps with limited or no additional funding," Proudfoot said.

"Student engagement is a priority of mine," Proudfoot said. "Lack of student engagement can lead to poor academic success to the degree that students drop out of school."

Proudfoot praises the job that current board members have done.

"I believe that the current board is doing an outstanding job," he said. "I want to be a part of the county's success and do something each day that will continue to enrich the life of students and staff members in Howard County."

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