Heather Couch for School Board


Whole Child

·I believe in meeting student’s Academic and Social Emotional needs. Students come into the school with their personal ‘luggage’. For some students they have more than one piece of ‘luggage’ they’re carrying. Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%. With Suicide being the 3rd leading cause of death among teens, it is not an optional to meet with student’s social and emotional needs (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2019).

·I believe we must equip students with the resources and skills to go into college, the world of work, or the military. 

·According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 10 out of the 28 top fastest-growing careers could be pursued with vocational training available through public schools (Chen, 2018). I believe in providing students with career/technical training and vocational education. If we forgo vocational education and push all students to go to college, we will see a deeper depletion in our neighborhoods. At some point students, college graduates or vocation graduates, will enter into a career. We have to help them development competencies, life skills, and character traits.

Community Engagement

·I believe that CPS has to work with the community in order to achieve student success. In order to have equitable educational practices, we have to partner with the community. Involving the community will result in (Coalition for Community Schools, 2019);

Student gains in academic achievement and non-academic development widely evident;

Parent/family participation seen as instrumental to children’s success;

Schools have stronger staff and parent relationships, improved school climate and greater community support;

Community is stronger – improved safety and connections among people.​

·I believe that allowing the community to have a voice on the mission, vision, and goals of the schools is essential. “Families and community representatives who are well-informed, involved and invested in local school improvement may become local champions INSPIRED to act and lead, based on what they’ve learned and the programs they’ve helped develop” (The Reform Support Network, 2014).

Equitable Education

·I believe educational practices should meet students where they are. In the 2015-16 school year, 65 percent of students attending city schools did so in high-poverty or mid-high poverty districts. We also know that achievement gaps persist among low income, special education, and minority students. We can improve equity in the classroom by teacher leaders who implement personalized learning and innovative technology. (Morrison, 2018)

·I believe that all students should have access to the highest level of education. Whether we are preparing students to go to college, entire the workforce, or go into the military, we should be giving ALL students, regardless of socio-economic status and neighborhood they live in, the highest quality of education. All neighborhood schools should provide students with a high caliber of education.

Student Voice

·I want to bring back students having a vote on high school Local School Decision Making Committees. This gives them the opportunity to exercise the fundamental right of voting, and to be engaged and informed citizens. It teaches them to be civically minded. We must teach students how to become productive citizens in society, fulfill their dreams, and have a meaningful life.

·I believe students can be a stakeholder in their education. The process of becoming engaged as active partners can give young people a set of strategies, they can use to create positive change in future classrooms or communities. And when they form authentic partnerships with teachers and school administrators, it can set the stage for lasting bonds and important mentoring relationships. (Shafer, 2016)