If Gulf Coast High School teacher Julie Sprague had any questions about whether to run for school board, a fortune cookie could have sealed the deal.Sprague
carries around the cookie's message, "Struggle as hard as you can for whatever you believe in," as she
campaigns for the District 4 School Board seat.
"I am not a politician, but I can't stand back and not help the kids," she
said."I have a different type of qualification than anyone else on the board has."Sprague will face Mark Swanson in the Nov. 4 election for the District 4 seat, which is currently held by School Board Chairwoman Linda Abbott.
, 54, said she
is running because she
would like to see someone with classroom experience on the board.
"I have spent 30 years in the classroom, 20 of them in Collier County.I know what goes on in the classroom.I have taught at every level from prekindergarten to college," she
said."I think I have a wide range of knowledge that I could bring to the board."Sprague has taught health at Gulf Coast High School since 1999 and was the wellness/medical academy director from 1999 to 2004.Before moving to Gulf Coast, Sprague taught health and physical education at Immokalee High School, where she also served as the department chair and the volleyball and boys' tennis coach.
"I know what the reality is in the classroom.I think many of the decisions that are being made are done without an understanding of what the impact is going to be on the kids," she
said."The scheduling issue is a perfect example.Alternating day is going to affect the lowest quartile of kids who do not deal with change the way the others do."Sprague
understands there are financial issues that will have to be dealt with, but she
believes the district could be spending money more efficiently.
"I think the priorities are not the way I would like to see them," she
said."The kids should come first and I think there have been changes made that don't put kids first."Sprague
cited a district decision to remove exceptional student education assistants from some ESE classrooms as one of the changes that will negatively effect children.Sprague
would also like to bring respect to the board.
"It is about bringing stability, respect and integrity back to the board," she
is ready to answer questions from the public.Community members with questions, can e-mail her
Good luck Julie!
, please try to bring a sense of respect for teachers and what they do to the school board.The present board, unfortunately, treats them as second class citizens and demeans their very noble profession.Remember: God only had one Son and he was a teacher.
smooth your paths and light your way!