WSFCS Board of Education Candidate responses, Jennifer Castillo, District 2

Published 2:10 pm Thursday, November 3, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Jennifer Castillo, District 2, Democrat

Editor’s note:

Castillo submitted her responses after the Clemmons Courier went to print on Tuesday. Her answers will not appear in this week’s printed edition but we will share them online.

1) Describe any experience you have in a public school environment, whether that be as a teacher, administrator, coach, staff member, current member of the School Board, substitute teacher, PTA involvement, etc.

I was educated by the WSFC school system. I attended Hall-Woodward Elementary and Southeast Middle School. I took AP classes at Glenn High School and at the Career Center. I am now a parent with children in the school system. I have two little ones in Pre-K, a daughter in elementary school, and a son in middle school. I enjoy attending PTA meetings and being involved with the schools. Most recently, I will be mentoring high school seniors as part of the Senior Academy program, with hopes to help decrease the high school dropout rates among our teens.

2) What do you feel are the biggest issues facing students, teachers and staff at schools currently and within your authority as a member of the BOE, how would you work to fix them?

One of the biggest issues our students face right now is that they don’t feel safe in our schools. The increase in gun violence across the nation and in our very own district has led students, parents, and staff to realize how vulnerable they are when it comes to school safety. The current school board is already doing a good job in collaborating with the Sheriff’s Department and ordering safety reviews of our school buildings. We should begin to look further ahead and find innovative ways to bring a sense of safety and protection back into our schools. I want to give our students another alternative over “run/hide/fight.” I have already researched funding sources that we can use to begin funding the purchase of bulletproof equipment for our classrooms. Our students and staff deserve the best level of protection we can provide for them, just as other schools are doing across the country. Equipping our schools with protective equipment is a way for us to invest in the safety of our students for generations to come.

3) What would you do as a member of the BOE to establish relationships with the schools and students outside of being present for all meetings?

In order to be an effective board member, you have to have an understanding of the people you serve. School board members must have a constant presence in the schools. We should get acclimated with each building and understand their individual mottos and needs. We can lead by example and volunteer in the schools as lunch buddies or reading warriors. We can use our presence and influence to support the PTA’s in schools with low parental participation and encourage their growth. We should get to know the students and staff, understand their fears and concerns, acknowledge their accomplishments, and always seek better opportunities for all whom we serve.