Monthly Archives: February 2023

Campaign Priority #5 – Provide Safe Schools

Ensuring the safety and security of students and staff is one of my top priorities. To achieve safe schools, effective measures need to be in place including access control, emergency response planning, regular threat assessments, staff training, crisis communications, and cooperative engagement with law enforcement. Technology threats should also be assessed, and cyber defenses regularly updated.

I have experience leading Corporate Security and Cyber Defense at global corporations, and know what it takes to upgrade our posture to where it needs to be for a public school. I also believe we can do it while respecting student privacy and without changing the look and feel of our buildings.

Providing safe schools is a foundational element of world class schools.  It is important to continuously evaluate and improve our safety measures to keep pace with evolving threats, and I am committed to ensuring we have the right level of protections in place.

Read more here.

Campaign Priority #4 – Strengthen Achievement

As a school board director, I am committed to ensuring every student in the district has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success beyond Unionville. To strengthen achievement, we must help each student grow academically, create a culture of high expectations and validate student progress through external assessments. And we need to hold our principals and administrators accountable to exceed state standards for academic growth and achievement.

Offering high quality extracurricular programs is important too. But at the heart of our mission is educating students and preparing them for life after Unionville. By strengthening student growth and achievement, we create a brighter future for our children and help them achieve their full academic potential.

Read more here.

Campaign Priority #3 – Invest in Technology & Facilities

In order to do their best, our students and teachers need well-maintained facilities and up-to-date digital technology in the classroom.

As a board member I support modernization of our buildings and athletic fields. I also have championed the districts prior technology investments in Canvas, Chromebooks, and a faster wireless network. And energy-efficient upgrades that save taxpayers money should also be prioritized. All of these are smart investments in our students and community.

Read more here.

Proposed UCF Investment in Solar Energy

At tonight’s Unionville Chadds Ford School District board meeting, the administration will be presenting a proposal to “go solar”. You can review the feasibility assessment here.

While I am very much in favor of investments that reduce the district’s operating costs, the administration’s assessment doesn’t yet give us a robust view of costs, benefits, and risks. Problems with the proposal include:

  • The proposal does not address the strategic rationale for investing in solar energy production when our mission and purpose is education
  • The feasibility assessment does not analyze the project’s environmental impact, the legal and regulatory context, or the impact to neighboring properties, all of which are risks to the project’s value
  • The financial analysis relies on unsourced assumptions that are optimistic, omits material expense categories, ignores the time value of money, and does not assess the range of potential financial outcomes through scenario analysis

To provide a more complete financial picture, I developed my own financial projections, based on credible and sourced assumptions, including all likely costs. And then I developed multiple scenarios, both optimistic and pessimistic. Depending on the assumptions used, this project could be a great benefit to the district or a terrible use of funds. I will be discussing this model during the school board meeting tonight.

The bottom line for me:

  1.  The district’s feasibility assessment should include a 360 degree assessment of the legal and regulatory environment, risks, environmental footprint, and impact on neighbors
  2. The district should correct its significant financial omissions, by including cost of insurance, maintenance costs, decommissioning and disposal costs, and should discount cash flows when assessing the total benefit of the project
  3. The district should do a sensitivity analysis on key assumptions, like the future price of electricity and the value of SRECs, so we can understand the range of probable outcomes

Once this information is provided, the board and the community will be properly equipped to make a sound investment decision.

Below is my cost model, for those who are interested in exploring the details. Links to data sources are also provided in the spreadsheet:

Campaign 2023 Priority #2 – Support Families

When it comes to a child’s education, no one is more invested than their parents. And that’s why we must create a strong partnership between our schools and families.

Partnership starts with clear and open communication about what our children are learning and how they are being assessed. Families should also have a say in shaping our academically rigorous curriculum. And we need a team attitude with teachers and parents working together to address challenges as they arise.

By involving families, being open and transparent, and supporting parent-teacher communication, we will create a more effective learning environment that reflects the best values of our community.

Read more here.