Montgomery School Board Candidate

Patrick Todd

Patrick Todd (Incumbent)

— First African-American man to serve on the Montgomery School Board.

Work:

Associate director, test security, The College Board. Education: Hampton Univ., BS, Business Management.

Important issues:

The learning loss caused by the pandemic; Improving communications; Improving transparency.

The past 18-plus months have had a devastating impact on our children and their learning. While the teachers did an excellent job in pivoting to virtual learning, there has been, without question, a learning loss. The district must implement strategies to address those gaps.

Improving communication with the community goes hand-in-hand with the school board being more transparent in its actions and decisions. This can be done by ensuring our communications are timely, and the district website is updated often. Our communications must be clear and address all questions from the community.

Qualifications:

I spent 25 years in law enforcement, where I learned how to negotiate with people from all walks of life. I also understand how decisions can have long-lasting effects on individuals.

I also have served on the boards of two home owner associations, including a term as president. While interacting with homeowners and listening to their concerns, I learned to act with empathy while making decisions that impacted the entire community.

I am in the midst of my first year on the school board, and there is still lots to learn. I continue to receive training to be a better board member. I have participated on several committees, and proved to be a valuable asset in negotiating a fair contract for our bus drivers and dispatchers.

Why running for office:

I am running for a full 3-year term to provide continuity to the board. There has been turnover in the last few years and the community, staff, and students deserve better. A board that is consistent and works together will improve the district.

School and the community:

The school board must improve its outreach to community members to obtain their input in order to make better informed decisions.

COVID-19 and school:

Per the governor, we will be returning to in-person classes in September. At this time, I fully support this decision. The pandemic has shown us that we need to be flexible. Masks should be worn by all students, staff, and administrators to begin the start of the school year and the policy should be reviewed continuously.

 

We should continue with our sports programs as long as we can continue to do them safely and responsibility. However, we must be clear to athletes and parents that programs could change depending on how the pandemic shifts. The health and safety of the students will drive those decisions. ■

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