“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 Public Schools are simple –
EXCELLENT – 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.
ENGAGED – With increased engagement in our neighborhoods, we can grow enrollment, parental engagement and community support for our schools.
EQUITABLE – With an increased focus on equity, we can ensure that every student, no matter their zip code or skin color, receives an excellent education.
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 and 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 and 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.
A World Class Learning Environment
Our schools must ensure every child is provided an engaging educational environment that encourages individual growth and learning. Providing appropriate class size and qualified teachers is key to ensuring we are providing all students with the help and assistance they need to succeed, and we should continue to consider ways to use personalized learning models in our schools.
My vision is that Covington Independent Schools will be a ‘lifelong community’ where people want to spend their entire lives.
Everyone benefits from having an inclusive learning community, and we are at an important turning point in the life of our school district. Because of this, we need leadership that will make wise choices about the future. I am a thoughtful and balanced leader who will work to ensure we have world class schools that serve all students, while pushing us to look at new and innovative ways of doing things that will prepare all of our students with the knowledge and skills they will need for the future.
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 afterschool and summer learning programs. We need to rally community support so our neighbors become mentors and become more involved in our schools.