Susan Miller, Candidate for Jeffco School Board District 4

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Profession: School district and financial adviser, former WRHS PTSA President

Contact: millerforjeffcostudents.com and www.facebook.com/Miller4Students and susan@millerforjeffcostudents.com

MORE: Meet Susan Miller

Why are you seeking this office?

Every parent I know is worried about whether schools are preparing their children to succeed in this economy. I’m concerned for Jeffco children: 55% of 3rd graders didn’t meet literacy standards on the 2019 CMAS, 65% of sixth-graders didn’t meet state math standards, 62% of eighth-graders didn’t meet science standards, and SAT scores are falling. We need to do a much better job or our kids, employers, and housing values will all suffer.

What makes you the best person for the job?

In addition to my professional experience, I’ve had four children go through Jeffco neighborhood schools and was very involved as a volunteer. I’ve chaired the Wheat Ridge High School Accountability Committee, been president of its PTSA, and served on district committees. I currently serve on a charter school board. For six years I was president of Jefferson Association for Gifted Children, advocating for gifted and twice exceptional special education students at local and state levels.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Achievement. Children must be proficient in reading, writing, math, and science to learn more complicated skills like critical and innovative thinking.

Financial clarity. How activities relate to costs and results. With a billion dollars in tax revenue, our annual budget process shouldn’t just focus on how to allocate incremental funding.

CTE programs. Colorado employers have middle skill jobs that they can’t fill today. We need to do a better job preparing our children for them.

How do you feel the district could better achieve equal access to opportunities for low income students?

We choiced our four children into Wheat Ridge High School, where 37% of students are Latinx and about 50% are eligible for free and reduced lunch. I’ve seen WRHS deliver strong achievement growth and innovative CTE programs for all its students. It means focusing more resources on students with the greatest needs, coordination across multiple organizations to help meet the challenges they face, and an innovative, high performance school team of administrators, teachers and staff.

How can the district better ensure student learning meets state standards?

That is primarily the role of management, not the board. Providing strong governance is what the board can do to improve achievement results. This includes setting goals and critiquing and approving the strategy for achieving them, ensuring a billion tax dollars in revenue is efficiently used and allocated to implement that strategy, monitoring risks to the strategy’s success, holding the Superintendent accountable for performance, and accurately presenting the district’s results to our many stakeholders.

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