WSFCS Board of Education Candidate Responses, Richard Watts, At Large

Published 12:10 am Thursday, November 3, 2022

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Richard Watts, At-Large, Democrat

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.

My passion for students and the teaching profession has no bounds. I want to serve to make both areas better. I am running for the WSFCS school board because I would like to see our school system become the best in the state at education and providing the best opportunities for all students. I have served Forsyth County public education for over 32 years. I have excelled at being a classroom teacher and as an administrator. I was a classroom teacher at Wiley Middle School. I was an assistant principal at Southwest Elementary School in Clemmons. I was the principal of Kimberley Park Elementary, Julian Gibson Elementary School and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy School. I was selected Principal of the Year twice by my peers. I am running as educator for education.

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?

S: Safety. Students and adults must feel safe daily as they go about the work of teaching and learning. All students and staff need to be insured that everything is being done to create a safe learning environment. An environment that is nurturing, caring as well balanced with local law enforcement initiatives. I will continue the anti-bullying initiatives and investigate areas of social emotional learning to support students, parents, and staff

C: Community. All citizens must have the opportunity to be engaged and provide input into what our schools should be doing to educate students and how to create a learning environment where staff are supported to do what is best for academic excellence.

A: Academic Achievement: Our school system must seek ways to improve the educational success of all students in elementary, middle and high school. We must continue to find ways to decrease and close achievement gaps. We must fund research-based curriculum that will improve our reading and math scores at the elementary level. Then, we can continue to strengthen the academic and social skills at the middle school and at the high school levels to prepare students for life: work, college or military.

R: Relationships and Respect: We must find ways to give respect to our education community. Morale is low in all areas. What are short term and long-term initiatives that can be done to garner respect in the educational community? In building respect, we must let our teachers teach. What can be done to alleviate the daily pressures of the classroom teacher, the classified staff, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, maintenance workers. We need to become active listeners and doers from their recommendations. Relationships are vital at every level in the educational community, including students and parents. Strong and sincere relationships are critical if we are to move the WSFCS district to the next level. If our relationships are genuine and meaningful, we can work together for success in WSFCS.

S: Sustainable: We need a better process to make sure that staff and funding are provided for what works. If we strive to allocate program resources and funding over time it will allow time to produce results. Often, if personnel and/or funding is decreased, the program falters, or it is removed. If It is working, then we must commit to it for the success of our students.

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?

I pledge to visit schools to see the facilities as well to meet staff and students and to ask the questions: what are we doing well? What do we need to improve? And How can we make “it” better?