Community Advisory Blog

Community Advisory Blog

As children, we learn the importance of negotiation for our needs and wants in the classroom, on the playground and at home.

As adults, these skills are further honed by applying life lessons, including successes and disappointments, and augmented with critical thinking skills which we learn through higher education and in the workforce.

Often, during both these times, we turn to others for insight and guidance, absorbing information and planning a course of action that we believe will help us reach our intended goal, destination or outcome.

This “advisory” platform that we employ from our youngest years to our oldest ones helps us in a number of ways. First, it gives us a voice and a way to express it. Also, it aligns us with people (family, co-workers, friends) who are vested in our (positive) outcomes. And, importantly, it can provide us a space of common ground as we seek support and solicit feedback on our paths through life.

Advisory groups, or committees, are common in professional and medical circles, and in politics and policing, as well. You’ll find them in residential communities as Homeowner’s and Condo Associations. You find them in Chambers of Commerce and at Tourism Boards. You’ll find them at the White House for a variety of topics including the economy, environment, education and national security.

And you’ll find them right here, in District 2, if I am elected to serve as your School Board Representative.

If elected, I will convene a proactive, inclusive and engaged Community Advisory Board, comprised of students and parents, teachers and administrators, and business and community leaders.

The District 2 Community Advisory Board will meet regularly to identify, address and resolve challenges faced by our district, whether ongoing or new. We will map strategies and concrete pathways to resolve whatever obstacles are inhibiting educational needs, resources and student progress. We will discuss ways to assist teachers with needs both inside and outside of the classroom.

I pledge to be an active listener, a respectful colleague and an energetic participant of this council, and to give students the same respect as their adult counterparts.

I pledge to develop and strengthen community bonds through engagement with local business and civic leaders in our quest to enhance and improve the educational opportunities for all students and the environment for teachers and staff.

I pledge to hold steadfast to my promise that all teachers will have a voice with me, and I will support a vision that allows them to do their jobs with equitable pay, ample resources and consistent support.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: It takes a village to raise one child.

It is my hope that through this Community Advisory Board, we can build on this idea and develop actionable, creative, progressive and inclusive solutions so that each child in our community has the best access to quality education in a safe and enriching environment.

Cheryl McDougall, a retired school social worker, is running for District 2 representative. From her work as a psychiatric nurse to school social worker to a 10-year leadership role in a managed medical health organization, Cheryl has dedicated her career to helping others and brings a wealth of hands-on and negotiation skills to this demanding role. Campaigning on three tenets: Increasing Teacher Salaries; Integrating Social Emotional Learning into existing school learning requirements; and Developing an Inclusive Community Advisory Board – comprised of school faculty, administration, parents, business owners and students – to help celebrate district successes and identify and address district needs, Ms. McDougall has been endorsed by the Brevard Federation of Teachers, Space Coast Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, The Florida Puerto Rican /Hispanic Minority Empowerment Committee and the Space Coast Progressive Alliance. For more information, email her directly at CMcDougall4schoolboard@gmail.com

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