My name is Gail Pough, and I am running to represent our community on the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education. I have lived in Aurora for 16 years, and I raised two brilliant and accomplished daughters – both Aurora Public Schools graduates – as a single mom. My family comes from a long line of pioneers of color in Colorado: my great-great-grandparents arrived in the state in the late 1800’s. They came to Colorado in order to live a better life. After homesteading on the prairie in Bijou Basin, they moved their family to Colorado Springs because they wanted to ensure that their children had access to schools. They knew that access to an education would make the difference in their children’s lives and would afford them better opportunities once they were older.
That hasn’t changed – I still believe that access to an excellent education is the key to ensuring that our kids can unlock their limitless potential. And yet students in Aurora are struggling. We have all noticed – and my children weren’t immune to the challenges APS students face. My daughter Kris had difficulty in math throughout elementary school, beginning when we transferred to her elementary school in APS. My daughter was above grade level when she started, but a few years later, we realized that she hadn’t been taught some key math concepts back in the 3rd grade. She struggled through middle school and high school. I was and remain an engaged parent, but I had a hard time finding her tutoring. I had to ask friends to help her in math. I felt powerless while my daughter fought to catch up.
It’s time for parents in Aurora to mobilize our power. As a parent organizer with Together Colorado, I learned to not underestimate the power of groups of people. I’m running to represent our community and to fight for our students – I don’t want other children to have to struggle like my daughter did. As a community and a district, we can do better. Every child should be able to read, write, and do math at grade level. I believe that APS is a district where all children, no matter their socio-economic status, race, ability, or immigration status, should have an excellent education. And I know that if we all work together, we can ensure that our children have the education that they deserve.
Can I count on you to knock on doors?
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I BELIEVE IN....
great schools for all kids
I believe that every single APS student deserves a world-class education. As a mom, I know that every child is different, and different students need different things. All families should have real choices in where they send their kids to school.
All APS schools should be held to high standards, and be accountable to families based on whether or not they are educating all students well.
a culturally competent school district
There are nearly 200 languages spoken in Aurora Public Schools! We are a diverse community, and I support curricula that honor and uplift the experiences of all of our students. I am committed to supporting inclusive environments in our classrooms – that means ensuring all schools are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy places to study and grow. Students who feel safe and supported come to school prepared to learn.
I was proud to support the Aurora School Board’s resolution supporting our immigrant students – and even more proud when my daughter Kris testified in support of the resolution at public comment!
recruiting and retaining the best teachers
Teachers are the absolute most important factor in ensuring that our kids are getting the education they deserve. APS must attract and retain the very best teachers – and part of that means ensuring that our teachers represent our communities. All students benefit from a classroom led by a great teacher with high standards, and who knows that every student can learn.
I also support funding for paraprofessionals and tutors for kids who need more support – no APS students should be left behind.
inclusion of parent voices
As a parent of two APS graduates, it’s important to me that parents’ voices are heard and represented in decision-making processes. There are so many kinds of families in Aurora, and when different cultures and ethnicities are represented, we can create change, foster innovation, and embrace creativity.
I also want to ensure that all families are included in district communications – this means making translations available when necessary, and an open-door policy to make sure that your voice is heard.