Hello, my name is Elaine Padgett. I am a candidate for Forsyth County Board of Education, District 5. I am a wife and mother and I have been a resident of Forsyth County for 19 years. I moved here in 2003 for the beautiful community and great schools. When my oldest, my son, started school, I realized why the schools were so good in this county. It was because of the incredible relationship between the parents and the teachers. My children have experienced the entire spectrum of school services from EIP, 504’s, IEP’s, AP, and dual enrollment, to name a few. My children have received a great education from the Forsyth County school system. I am running to ensure our schools remain strong and committed to the vision of quality learning and superior performance for all. This can only occur if we maintain that high level of cooperation and support between our education professionals and our parents.
My children have been successful in their education because of the caring, involved teachers they have had throughout school. To say that a few teachers were life-changing for my children would be an understatement. Because of the dedication and professionalism of our educators, my children have thrived. I want to make sure we attract the best teachers to our county and keep the great ones that are already here. I believe that we need to offer compensation and benefits that attract teaching talent to our county. However, I also believe that we will not be able to keep great talent here if they do not feel respected and supported by the community. If we want our community to continue to have the best schools in the state, then we need to realize that we are in a competition for teaching talent and act accordingly. Our teachers need to be supported and respected as professionals. I don’t think we have done enough to show our appreciation for the hard twists and turns and stress that they have been through over the last 2 years. As a board member, I will listen to our teachers and seek their unguarded and professional input. We need to get back to the time of cooperation between our education professionals and our parents, in order to achieve our common goals of providing a great education to our students and making sure that each student feels safe and supported.
As a community, we have high-standards for our children’s education. Parental involvement has been one of the great contributors for the success of our students and schools. This cohesive relationship between parents and teachers serves as a foundation for superior education. It is important that the partnership is respectful and in the best interest of ALL of our students. The last 2 years has presented enormous obstacles and challenges. No one was left untouched by the circumstances of the pandemic. As we are getting back to normal, we are facing a lot of stress that is reaching a boiling point in some segments or our community. We have a diverse community, and I will fight to ensure that all parents in the community will have a voice in their child’s education, not just the loudest voices from either side. I want our focus to be on forward-looking ideas and our energies to focus on the issues that will make the greatest difference in our children’s success. I look forward to working for the community and working with parents and educators on achieving our shared goal of maximizing the success of our students.