Making a Difference
Dana for Board of Education, District 5
Greetings! My name is Dana Schallheim, and I am running for AACPS Board of Education, 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, an MBA, and the dedication and persistence to advocate for all our children.
If successful I will:
* Fight for living wages, restoration of lost steps, and smaller class size;
* Provide fiscal oversight and improved board accountability, and transparency,
* Develop budgets that meet actual school needs at the school level;
* Champion measures to ensure full PUBLIC school funding;
* Ensure that our school facilities maintained properly;
* Advocate for equity for ALL AACPS students;
* Pledge to eliminate transportation inefficiencies, increase recess, and align school start times according to known data; and,
* Pursue implementation of policies that solve bullying and racism as well as enact measures that properly support minorities and people of color.
"Nothing good comes easily. Sometimes you've got to fight!" – 311, Amber
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Above photo courtesy of Executive Office of the Governor.
Lifelong Volunteer Turned First Time Candidate
Dana Schallheim has a 30+ 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. I was also recognized by AACPS for volunteering more than 300 hours during the 2017-18 school year.
An at-home mom for the past seven 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 hopes to bring a fresh voice and perspective to the AACPS Board of Education. Her goals include providing needed fiscal oversight and improved Board transparency and accountability, advocating for teachers, secretaries, and staff, ensuring our schools are safe and properly maintained, and aligning school start times with known data.
Dana and her husband of 11 years are raising their daughter in Severna Park.
The Issues At Hand
My quest to serve on the Board of Education began because I want to advocate for all AACPS students. I am not a career politician using this position as a stepping stone, 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 fight to:
Ensure that every school is properly maintained so that our children aren’t exposed to leaded water, mold, and crumbling buildings,
Solve the chronic bullying and racism in our schools by developing policies that resolve the chronic bullying and racism in our schools including a zero-tolerance policy for use of hate speech and symbols of hate, as well as required K-12 curriculum utilizing culturally responsive learning pedagogy and focuses on multicultural and social justice education, compassion, celebrating diversity, practicing empathy, and allows for open and safe discussion of issues surrounding culture, race and racism,
Improve student mental health via increasing recess, shortening bus commute times, hire enough school counselors and psychologists to meet ASCA and NASP recommendations at every school, and align school start times in accordance with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, and
Expand 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 fight to:
Align teacher, secretary, and staff pay and working conditions with surrounding counties,
Restore lost steps for all teachers,
Reduce class room size by recruiting classroom and special education teachers to keep up with our growing student body,
Bolster recruitment efforts through partnerships with universities and local employers to attract top notch teachers,
Increase mental health staff including school counselors and psychologists to meet ASCA and NASP recommendations, and
Establish a zero-tolerance policy for students, teachers, and staff regarding hate speech, bullying, sexism, and racism including the development of professional development for all teachers and staff around these and related topics as well as consistent enforcement of consequences for students, teachers, and staff who violate the policy.
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!
Refocus budgets to accurately reflect school needs at the school level,
Rework state and local education funding formulas so that our schools remain successful and our communities continue to thrive, and
Provide needed fiscal oversight and end the Board’s lack of transparency and accountability.