School Board Candidate Jennifer Jenkins
Why are you running? As an educator, the wife of a teacher, and the mother to a young daughter on the cusp of entering public education, I am concerned about the instability of our public education system. We are struggling to retain and recruit quality educators, our school buildings are starving for resources, and our students are yearning for social emotional support. I believe it is time we have a school board member who sees the big picture, how the decisions we make today directly impact the future of our county. We deserve someone who understands that public education is the foundation of our county’s economic success. We deserve someone who understands that a steward of the taxpayer, is not one who continues business as usual, but is one who sees investments in public education as the pathway towards encouraging new business development and innovation on the Space Coast.
What qualifies you as the best candidate? Throughout my career with Brevard Public Schools, I have had the privilege of working beside educators who pour every ounce of their being into their profession for the betterment of our students. They give relentlessly, more time in their day than their contracted hours, and money out of their own pockets. Subsequently, I have witnessed these same educators feel their value diminishing and their concerns continuously disregarded. I believe I am the best candidate because I understand the critical importance of prioritizing the retaining of our quality educators. Working on school campuses, I understand how the policies we put in place directly impact the students that we serve.
What are your top 3 priorities if elected to office?
- Recruit and retain quality educators with competitive wages, reducing class size, addressing concerns about student discipline, and limiting punitive evaluations
- Rebuild trust through transparency and accountability of our nearly one billion dollar budget
- Construct a talent pipeline to 21st century jobs
What programs would you like to see implemented to maintain or improve school scores? With the influx of private companies such as SpaceX, the United Space Alliance and Blue Origin, the Space Coast continues to expand as a bustling center for aviation, aerospace engineering, computer technology, and cutting-edge manufacturing industries. Our public schools must ensure all of our students a pathway to these high-tech, often higher paying jobs by providing the STEAM program that integrates team and inquiry based learning, linking Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art, propelling our students to 21st Century careers. Universally improving access to technology in the classroom, expanding hands-on learning opportunities, and fostering apprenticeships with local businesses will afford our students the opportunity to be successful in a competitive workforce.
Will you support increased security measures in our schools, like arming school personnel (staff, admin, teachers) to keep our kids safe? No. I believe that school security is best served with a healthy partnership between local law enforcement and the school district. It is critical to monitoring and strengthening the security of our school campuses and protecting our staff and children. I believe that anyone armed on school campuses should have the sole responsibility of security. Securing our learning environments with law enforcement professionals, equipped with proven security strategies and technologies allows our educators to continue to be the guardians of academic and personal success.
Short Biography: Jennifer is a Speech Language Pathologist with Brevard Public Schools working with Pre-K Exceptional Student Education. A mother and the wife of a teacher, Jennifer plans to focus on retaining and recruiting quality educators, demanding transparency and accountability of the budget, and increasing access to technology and hands-on learning opportunities to pipeline students to 21st century careers right here on the Space Coast.