“Our public school system in Covington needs a leader with vision, compassion and common sense – qualities that I can bring to the table.” - Tom Haggard
Tom’s goals for Covington Independent Schools are simple –
EXCELLENCE – With high expectations and a culture of excellence, we can ensure that every graduating senior from Holmes High School pursues their own path to success.
Build a budget that puts as many resources as possible into the hands of teachers so they can do their job more effectively.
Create a clear strategic direction so all stakeholders understand our goals and our plan to achieve them.
Enhance and expand gifted and talented programs so that ALL students have access to a rigorous education.
ENGAGEMENT – With increased engagement in our neighborhoods, we can grow enrollment, parental engagement and community support for our schools.
Develop an outreach plan to connect with families in the community who are not part of our schools to better understand their needs.
Provide additional support, through programs and resources, to parents so they can support their child's education.
Build robust collaboration between the schools, the city and community partners to provide more opportunities after-school, on the weekend and during the summer to keep kids active and engaged.
EQUITY – With an increased focus on equity, we can ensure that every student, no matter their zip code or skin color, receives an excellent education.
Work with administrators and teachers to reduce and eliminate achievement gaps in the classroom.
Develop a recruitment and retention plan for minority teachers and staff.
Adopt policies so that the school district spends more money with locally-owned minority and women-owned businesses.
LIST OF ISSUES
I am passionate about public education and Covington deserves the best. I will continually push for excellence; ask the tough questions and demand thorough and transparent answers. Covington supports its schools and in return we need a Board that will support and answer to Covington. I have a proven track record and experience supporting education throughout our community. We must support our teachers and staff as they educate our children. I understand school budgets, the public budgeting process and the need for fiscal constraint. I am ready and able to understand complex staff reports, insist on sound planning and budgeting, and help facilitate efficient productive public meetings leading to clear decisions. My professional experience with education gives me a unique perspective on providing leadership as we transform our school system to be accountable, effective and efficient in the years and decades ahead.
Diverse Schools & Staff
I will actively seek opportunities to enhance diversity and opportunity for individuals from historically under-represented backgrounds. I believe communication is key and connections with a diverse group of people is important for a sustainable and prosperous academic program.
I will work with students and staff regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. As long as students and faculty are committed to and engaged in a positive learning environment and promote the ideals for a diverse workplace, my philosophy is that all students should be given equal opportunity. I will uphold these ideals and lead by example by leading and participating in programs that advance diversity. The school district should be setting measurable goals for diversity and inclusion that includes personnel and contractors.
Affordable Housing & Services
We are fortunate to live in a beautiful city with committed, compassionate residents. Our neighborhoods, the strength of our city, face innumerable challenges. National and state policies have increased homeless populations and the costs of managing our city. Our climate is changing and stressing aging infrastructure. Covington residents have often led efforts to address difficult problems. Today is no different. The road ahead requires hard work and attention to detail.
I support secure, affordable housing, appropriate to existing neighborhoods, and developing regional solutions for children and families experiencing homelessness. I am committed to working collaboratively with the City of Covington, the Housing Authority of Covington and other partners to make Covington more livable for all of our students.
Supporting The Whole Child
Our students are so much more than just a test score. We must invest in programs and services that support students not only academically but also socially and emotionally. From tutoring to mentoring to mental health services, we must ensure that students and families have the support to be successful in school AND in life. We need to collaborate with the city of Covington and community organizations to provide more opportunities for after-school and summer learning programs. We need to rally community support so our neighbors become mentors and become more involved in our schools.