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NAME: Jenny Anderson

CANDIDATE FOR: Cabell County Board of Education

PARTY: Nonpartisan race


HOME CITY: Huntington


AGE: 51

EDUCATION: Graduated from Huntington East High School; Specialized Fines Arts Certificate, South Florida Art Institute.

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Director of the Families Leading Change Program, Parent Engagement Field Organizer for Our Future WV, and Statewide Local School Improvement Council Trainer

OTHER WORK HISTORY: Muralist and Visual Arts Instructor

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Cabell Midland Local School Improvement Council Chair (LSIC)

ENDORSEMENTS: Cabell County AFT (American Federation of Teachers)

FAMILY: four children who attended, currently attending Cabell County Schools and four grandchildren, two who currently attend Cabell County schools.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: As a parent and strong advocate of public schools, I want to make sure that ALL Cabell County students can reach their full potential both academically and as citizens who can serve their community. This means that we MUST work collaboratively as schools, parents/families, and community on strategies that improve the well being of the whole child. We need to create a new policy and build strong relationship practices between the school and the families. This cannot be achieved without strong local school support and accountability including family and community involvement.

1. What should your role be as a member of the Board of Education?

The BOE must listen to all stakeholders in each school community while building an ongoing relationship with each LSIC. BOE members should have student safety and achievement at the forefront of all decision making. They should be well prepared to ask hard questions of the Superintendent and county leadership while making sound decisions on policy, issues, and all district finances.

2. How would you address the dropout issue?

Schools need to seek innovative ways to relate to the students' families. Forging and building positive relationships between family and staff creates a strong support system to encourage students to reach their full potential. LSICs are a vessel for this as advisory councils in each school that include parents, students, teachers, service personnel, and community in decision making and planning.

3. How would you encourage more parental involvement?

Parents should be included in training teachers receive for Mental Health First Aid or other programs that help teachers in the classroom and could also help parents struggling with how to engage and encourage their children in school. Opportunities like these where staff and families are learning together creates a change in narrative that builds a positive and welcoming experience.

4. How would you increase the rigor of the curriculum to benefit students?

Rigor of curriculum is established and challenged by the amount of passion a student experiences in school. This unfairly was placed upon backs of teachers holding them accountable for changes in curriculum and testing standards not giving the system time for improvement. LSICs can create waivers to offer classes outside of county/state policy that fuel passion and challenge minds.

5. What would you do to improve student achievement?

Before we can improve student achievement, we must get a handle on social and emotional needs of our students. This health crisis adds trauma our students will be affected by for years. Changes over the years to improve achievement in testing, curriculum, and policy has set us up to fail. We need stability for the current system to work.

6. What do you think schools should be doing about drug prevention?

This is more about social and emotional support for families that schools need to improve upon. Parents themselves may have had bad experiences and no support when adverse life experiences occurred. When schools work with the students and their families to find out what the root causes of behavior, this prevents students from starting a path to drug usage.

7. Do you think schools should do more to prepare students to succeed in community college and apprenticeships, etc.?

The Career and Tech Center is our “third” high school and we should expand this programming to engage more students. Our state needs our CTE students to thrive. Reaching out to more small local businesses and skilled craftsman who can offer programs that will catapult our students into starting their own businesses post high school graduation will create economic development.

8. How would you access the condition of Cabell County’s school facilities? What improvements, if any, do you think should be the focus in the next 10 years?

As part of the CEFP steering committee, we made educated recommendations based on visual tours of school sites and feedback from each school community. Overall, buildings are well maintained regardless of age. Some need upgrades, others needed new facilities for safety and enrollment issues. We made a strong stance against consolidation to create options that were good for the communities.

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