Making a Difference
Dana for Board of Education, District 5
Greetings! My name is Dana Schallheim, and I am running for re-election to The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County, representing District 5. As a parent in the AACPS community, I want the best foundation possible for our children so that all students can choose any path they wish after graduation. I believe ALL children deserve the highest quality education possible.
I bring a lifetime of volunteer and advocacy work, a Masters in Business Administration, and the dedication and persistence to advocate for all our children.
Highlights of my first term:
* Restored of all frozen and docked experience steps for all teachers and staff.
* Provided fiscal oversight and improved board accountability, and transparency as Chair of the Budget Committee for three budget cycles by developing budgets that meet actual school needs at the school level;
* Championed measures to ensure full PUBLIC school funding by leveraging my relationships with the County Executive and County Council resulting in the greatest school funding seen in Anne Arundel County in decades which included the full funding of the FY23 Capital Budget;
* Lobbied for the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland's future;
* Increased opportunities for our students including approving dozens of new courses, the establishment of JROTC as a magnet program in three high schools, and worked with the Superintendent and staff to ensure that the new Center for Applied Technology - North reaches as many students as possible through program offerings that allow our students to walk right into a career after graduation;
* Ensured ALL AACPS students feel included and welcomed at school via passage of multiple policies including the re-tooling of the school system's bullying and bias policy; and,
* Worked to eliminate transportation inefficiencies, increased recess, and aligned school start times according to known data.
"Nothing good comes easily. Sometimes you've got to fight!" – 311, Amber
Building on Six Years of Success
Dana Schallheim has a 35+ year history of volunteer work and serving her community. Her advocacy work ranges from social justice to helping children in need and repairing the environment. Highlights of her volunteer career include being named the ACLU of Mississippi’s Volunteer of the Year and leading a campaign through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association that raised $80,000. She was also recognized by AACPS for volunteering more than 300 hours during the 2017-18 school year. Dana volunteers regularly at her daughter's middle school.
An at-home mom for the past twelve years, Dana was formerly an energy consultant working on behalf of the Federal government and utility clients in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. She has two degrees in business including an MBA she received in 2002 from the University of Brighton in England.
Called to serve, Dana brought a fresh voice and perspective to The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County. Her goals include continuing to provide fiscal oversight as well well as Board transparency and accountability, advocating for teachers, secretaries, and staff, ensuring our schools are safe and properly maintained, and continuing to close discipline, opportunity, and achievement gaps.
Dana and her husband of 15 years are raising their daughter in Severna Park.
The Issues At Hand
My quest to continue my service on The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County began because I want to continue to advocate for all AACPS students. I am not a career politician using this position as a stepping stone or a perennial candidate, but an at-home AACPS parent who believes that all AACPS students deserve the highest quality education possible and equal access to technology, resources, and programs so that EVERY child can follow the path of their choosing upon graduation.
If successful I will continue to fight to:
Ensure that extremism and partisan politics stay out of our schools;
Lobby for operating and capital budgets meet school needs at the school level;
Work collaboratively with Dr. Bedell and his staff to to quell bullying and bias in our schools by ensuring that policies developed during my tenure are consistently enforced;
Close discipline, opportunity, and achievement gaps;
Improve student mental health via continual evaluation of the academic calendar and daily school schedules, hiring enough school counselors and psychologists to one day meet ASCA and NASP recommendations at every school; and,
Expand programs and opportunities for all students including support and services for our special needs students. with disabilities and at-risk youth.
Teachers are the heart and soul of our schools. Our children's success depends on our ability to recruit and retain amazing teachers. If our teachers are top notch our children will be, too.
If successful I will continue to fight to:
Align teacher, secretary, and staff pay and working conditions with surrounding counties, providing living wages for all AACPS employees;
Provide working conditions that rival or even surpass those of neighboring school systems;
Reduce classroom size by recruiting classroom and special education teachers to keep up with our growing student body; and,
Bolster recruitment efforts through partnerships with universities and local employers to attract top notch teachers.
I believe in full PUBLIC school funding and equality in funding formulas across all schools. Our children and schools have been short-changed far too long. This must stop! Our state and county officials must put our children’s education as well as their health and safety while at school first!
Continue to refocus budgets to accurately reflect school needs at the school level,
Ensure that the components of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future are reflected in our operating and capital budgets; and,
Implement living wages for all staff to move our school system from good to GREAT!