Students were great
On Sept. 19 and 20, I had the awesome experiences of participating in mock job interviews for members of the Douglas High Senior Class. What a great experience. I found them to be well prepared, and articulate. Not to mention they were respectful and a lot of fun to interact with. I even had lunch with the student body in the lunch area, I found all the students I interacted with to be totally enjoyable to be with. I am so proud of our students, faculty and staff of Douglas High School.
Supporting Butterfield, Jackson, & Lehmann
I am voting for Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann for school board, informed by my own educational journey through the DCSD system, as well as the candidate’s involvement with the community and its schools. As a 2022 graduate from DHS, I have seen first-hand what is going on in the schools and what is being taught. I showed up everyday understanding the accusations of indoctrination and political pandering that were made against my teachers, school, and district. yet attending DHS simply discredited these accusations, proving to me that Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann are presenting a far more accurate view of DCSD to the public. Not only did I complete all of my K-12 education through the DCSD schools, I spent 50 hours volunteering in a classroom at MES this past 2021-22 school year. I can confidently say without a doubt that CRT isn’t being taught in the schools, and teachers have control of their classrooms.
Another reason I am voting for these candidates is due to their investment in our educational system. Their children are either in the school system or have graduated recently. All three of these candidates have been deeply rooted within the schools. Butterfield worked in the DHS counseling office from 2018-21. Jackson has students in DCSD schools, and she has taught part time at Sierra Lutheran. Lehmann has children within DCSD schools, and even served as a coach within the boy’s golf program. All three of these candidates have actively engaged with our school system and care about students, parents, and school staff. While coaching, Lehmann often asked us how school was and made sure we were doing okay. When they speak about what is happening in our schools, they speak with knowledge and personal experience.
Another issue that stood out to me is the fact that these candidates actually showed up to DHS for the student led town hall conversation. All DHS seniors were invited to craft questions and to attend. The four candidates (Butterfield, Jackson, Lehmann, and Brashears) who came really listened to students and asked what their experience was in DCSD schools. When I saw a video of David Burns claiming that DHS couldn’t be a “neutral site,” I instantly felt sick. At the time of that meeting, I was still attending DHS and couldn’t believe that he was saying this about the school that I had grown to love. I received a great education through DCSD that was shaped by the amazing DCSD teachers, and staff. The teachers that I had were dedicated and showed up every day even when times were rough. They showed up for their students, and I am voting for candidates who are showing up for teachers. Butterfield, Jackson, and Lehmann are dedicated candidates who support teachers, students, parents, and other school staff. They are the pro-school board candidates who sit down and listen to DCSD staff. They are the candidates who put teaching and learning first and partisan politics last.
Douglas has good schools
When my family considered moving here ten years ago, we had just had our third child, so quality of schools was an important factor. When we researched Douglas County School District, we knew our kids would be in good hands. We haven’t been disappointed. Our kids have been surrounded by educators who cared for them personally. Each of our kids has had opportunities that have allowed them to thrive.
Our oldest is a senior taking five AP classes, loving her teachers, and devouring lessons. Our second is a sophomore taking her first AP class, singing with the audition choir Douglas Dynamics, and learning to lead through access to clubs like Kiwanis Key Club of Douglas High School. Our youngest is going to science camp with his school next week, and his teachers cheer on his interests in coding and math. The teachers of DCSD are serving our kids well.
Not only am I a parent in DCSD, I am also a teacher at DHS. I am fortunate to rub shoulders with some of the most dedicated, caring, intelligent people I have ever met. They give so much more than they receive. I see teachers cheer and encourage students; I hear about incredible lessons learned and discussions had in classrooms; I see teachers staying late simply to help struggling students comprehend and succeed; and I hear teachers sharing ideas, lessons, and methods to improve classrooms daily. I am proud to work with such individuals and hope I am their equal.
In addition, I personally know Heather Jackson, Robbe Lehmann, and Roberta Butterfield. I spoke with Heather Jackson over the phone before we even moved here, and she encouraged me to move to Douglas County because it’s a great place to raise kids. Her own kids are incredible people, which speaks volumes to me. Robbe Lehmann has been a family friend since we moved here. His kids are also in this district, and his goal is to provide them and his community with access to incredible educations. I had the opportunity to work with Roberta Butterfield and to teach one of her amazing daughters. I found them to be intelligent, eager to learn individuals who want to focus on the things that make education and communities strong. As school board members, each of these individuals will work to keep Douglas County School District a place where I will be proud to see my youngest graduate, just like his big sister.
Not interested in neutrality
Our Douglas County schools definitely do need saving – from the likes of Dickerson, Burns and Jansen. These are people who want the schools to not be politically neutral and to specifically teach the conservative point of view as the only “right way.” This is antithetical to every American value. These are people who want to teach children not “how” to think, but “what” to think.
That is a serious danger. We need kids to graduate with critical thinking skills, not lock-step indoctrination in right-wing philosophy.
This slate of candidates opposes Social-Emotional Learning when every study and meta-study shows that students exposed to SEL have better academic outcomes. The skills that SEL teaches are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. How on earth can that be a bad thing for individuals or for society, especially when the research proves otherwise.
Please do vote to Save our Schools and support Roberta Butterfield, Robbe Lehman and Heather Jackson.
Patricia M. Cuocco