MY DECISION TO HOME EDUCATE
Education is a way of life in our family. Home education is misunderstood by many people, so please allow me to expound on my education philosophy.
I made the decision to home educate my children as a heart felt conviction 20 years ago when our first son was born in Slidell. At that time, Louisiana was on the the bottom of every list in education, as it is today. However, like Central’s new schools, St. Tammany Public schools were some of the best in the state. Gail and I both attended them. At that time, our reasons to educate our children had very little to do with the quality of public education available.
We had a desire to accomplish several things through this commitment. First, we wanted the privilege of teaching our children. We wanted to be the largest influence in their lives. And we desired to teach them our biblical worldview. We wanted to establish a curriculum that nurtured their natural bents, gifts, talents, and to properly address different interests and special needs of each child. Our goal was (and is) to equip them to accomplish all they were created to be and prepare them for a life of service in a environment of love and acceptance. Instructing year round gave us the flexibility to travel and plan unique educational experiences. Hence, we started a fabulous journey of learning, growing and family discipleship together.
These 3 key elements make Homeschooling effective and are critical in our public schools as we move towards” Excellence in Education”
· Parental Involvement
· Low student/teacher ratio
· Highly motivated and inspired teachers & coaches
Sending our children to a traditional school after so many years and so much invested in our educational experience, would not be in the best interest of our family. To teach at any level is a high and noble cause. Anyone choosing it as their life’s work should be applauded. I consider home education a wonderful privilege, and one of the most important tasks I will ever do in my life. My opponent has chosen to target this high and noble calling as negative.
I want to make this clear. Just because he is seeking election in this race, does not make him my adversary. I respect Mr. Goudeau. I believe he is a wonderful example of the importance of involvement and volunteerism. He is sending a great message of service to others, not only to his children, but to all of the students and parents of this community. Certainly, we all agree that our schools are better because of the involvement of parents like Mr. and Mrs. Goudeau. Gail & I share this spirit of volunteerism and have been actively involved in our children’s interests as well.
I am an entrepreneur. I have conducted business in corporate America, making policy and administrative decisions for 22 years. I have served as the President on the Board for Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Baton Rouge which is a home school support group representing over 1000 students in the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. Some of my responsibilities included organizing curriculum fairs, speaking at conventions and graduations, writing articles for the monthly newsletters to the members, as well as being an ambassador for education to the community at large. Varsity level sports was also under my umbrella of responsibilities. Like the school board this was a volunteer position. I also instruct continued education courses to Architects & Designers. I am the only candidate that has a background in education, administration and business.
Fortunately, having children enrolled in Central schools is not a requirement for serving on the board. Many of the existing board members do not currently have children in our system. Other parents, board members, faculty and staff have chosen different educational opportunities for their children. School boards such has West Feliciana, have had home educators on their board. If having children in the public school system were a requirement for school board members many districts, including ours, would have missed out on some fine leadership. We are actually dealing with a much larger picture than the issue of the educational choices of individual families. It’s about those precious children, and what is in their best interest.
The children in our community schools need to be well equipped and prepared for their future and the future of Central. They are our next leaders. We all have a role to play. The school board is one area that I believe my talents and experience can have the most positive impact. This is why I am running and this is why I feel I am the most qualified candidate to serve.
Candidate for School Board, District 1