LIST OF PRIORITIES
Attract and Retain the Best and the Brightest Employees
All employee groups should want to have a career with Spotsylvania County Public Schools. We must have competitive pay and benefits to be able to attract the best employees. To retain our staff, we must offer targeted and high quality professional development for all employee groups. Professional development should provide equitable opportunities for employees to gain and improve the knowledge and skills important to their positions so they can be successful in their job performance.
Dawn believes that all students can learn and knows that all students don’t learn the same way, that’s why Dawn wants our Spotsylvania County students to have options. Dawn would like to see an expansion of Career and Technical opportunities, and specialty centers. Dawn will continue to support successful programs such as JROTC, the International Baccalaureate, and the Governor’s School. Dawn will work with administration to find grants to defray the costs of the programs so that our students have every opportunity to get a meaningful education.
Dawn will continue to work with the state to reduce required ratios to better serve our students. Dawn knows that in today’s classroom environment, smaller teacher to student ratios are more beneficial for both the students and the teachers.
Student and Staff Safety
To be able to learn, a student must have his/her basic needs met. One of those basic needs is the need to feel safe. Dawn wants the students and staff of SCPS to not only be safe, but to feel safe, as well. Being and feeling safe shouldn’t just rely on a school resource officer, we need to be sure that our buildings are safe, and our staff and students are well trained in case of emergency. Dawn knows that bullying can cause students to feel unsafe, that’s one of the reasons Dawn wants more social workers, school counselors, and bullying prevention training in each of our schools. Dawn has also recommended a social skills class to the elementary encore rotation to support social-emotional growth. Supporting mental health is important for our students and staff, and it can lead to safer schools.
Bus safety is important. The law has recently changed; stop arm camera photographs are now admissible evidence in court. Dawn worked with the Board of Supervisors members to get an ordinance passed. Dawn will now ensure that the cameras are purchased to equip all buses with the cameras. With the support of law enforcement, those who break the law will be charged using the proof from the cameras, then our students will be more safe.
As a special education teacher, Dawn is aware what students and teachers face at school. Dawn will work with the division and the state to reduce caseloads for teachers. Not only will this support the teachers, it will give the teacher more time to support his/her students’ needs. Dawn knows that the number of students with special needs continues to rise. Dawn will continue to advocate for more staff to support the needs of each student. Dawn will strive to increase knowledge and awareness of dyslexia, autism, and all disabilities to support our staff, students, and parents.
Dawn believes that one of her duties as an elected official is to ensure transparency. During her time as a school board member, she fought to enhance the division's communication processes, which was one of her original campaign goals. The money spent on our school system is taxpayer's money and Dawn knows that it's not only a duty, but also an obligation to ensure that those dollars are spent to fulfill the mission, together, we prepare our students for their future, while allowing the people to know where their money is being spent.
Dawn has been a driving force for Chancellor families and our school division as a whole. As the Chancellor Representative on the School Board, she has fought for and supported the many accomplishments that have improved our schools and ensured that our tax dollars are producing results.
*100% of the schools being accredited even with more rigorous standards and testing, an increase of 34% since 2014
*On-time graduation increased from 86% in 2012 to 91% in 2018
*Chancellor Elementary became a National Blue-Ribbon School
*Enhanced security at all school entrances and implementation of the visitor management system
*School Resource Officers at each school
* Implementation of the streamlining initiatives for increased efficiency and cost savings
*Awarded Best Communities for Music Education Award, multiple times
*Funding for band transportation and uniforms included in the budget
*Eliminated the athletic fee, reinstated Winter Track and initiated sixth grade participation in sports
*Integration of GPS for buses
*Implementation of stop arm cameras on school buses pilot
*Implemented and regularly evaluate Division Strategic Plan
*Initiated social media presence and more communication to the community
*Pay increases for all staff of up to and over 8% in the last two fiscal years
*Increase in substitute teacher pay
*Increased academic and athletic stipends
*Reduce teacher to student ratio
Dawn has also advocated to the Virginia Board of Education, the State Superintendent, State Assistant Superintendents, and national, state, and local officials to advocate for less testing and more support for our students with disabilities.