MEA Endorses Shockley For School Board

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DSC_0360After the filing deadline for the Milford Board of Education on Friday, March 1, six candidates filed for the At-large position up for election, which will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Candidates seeking the At-Large seat for the Milford School District Board of Education include Hunter Emory, Kevin W. Marshall Jr., Natalie R. Shockley, Alan R. Southard, Robert B. Vincelette Jr. and Michael Wells.

For the past four years, the Milford Education Association (MEA) has conducted interviews of local candidates seeking a position on the Milford School Board of Education and has chosen a candidate to endorse. Last week candidate Natalie Shockley was endorsed by the MEA for the upcoming School Board election in May.

“During this process, we strive to choose those who will best meet the needs of our diverse membership, while keeping our most important goal in mind: ensuring the best possible education for all students in the district,” commented MEA representatives in a release sent to local press on Wednesday, March 27. “This year’s candidate, Natalie Shockley, best exemplifies in her wanting the best for students, teachers and staff of the Milford School District.”

A retired teacher, Mrs. Shockley has 38 years of teaching experience, eight years of which were spent with the Caesar Rodney School District and thirty years of which were spent with Cape Henlopen School District. After graduating from Milford High School in 1969, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Salisbury University.

“I am honored to have received the endorsement from the Milford Education Association,” commented Mrs. Shockley. “This organization is committed to upholding the rights and responsibilities of the Milford School District faculty and staff. As a former educator, I know that this endorsement goes a long way to ensuring a positive relationship both between myself and MEA.”

The Milford Education Association believes that their interview process and ultimately their endorsement of candidates help to inform their members on where prospective school board members stand on issues critical the MEA and their members.

“Traditionally, little was known about each candidate, and often the stance each candidate took regarding critical issues was also a mystery. By interviewing each candidate, MEA gets a fuller picture of the person wishing to sit on the school board,” commented Dawn Dehel, President of the Milford Education Association. “[The endorsement] tells members, not just teachers, but paraprofessionals, custodians and secretaries as well, that, from our perspective this is a candidate who understands the challenges and concerns of educators,”

Ms. Dehel believes that among several issues currently affecting the Milford schools, evaluation for teachers and its ties to testing is a critical issue that current and future school board members must understand.

“Evaluation and its ties to high stakes testing is a daily conversation for leadership,” stated Dehel. “We believe in being held accountable in a statistically valid, equitable way. Since there is the potential for teachers to lose jobs under [Delaware Performance Appraisal System], it is paramount that those who sit on the board have some understanding of the process and the pitfalls.”

School Board Elections for the At-large seat will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 and the winner of the election will serve a five year term. Several weeks before the election The Milford Review and Milford LIVE.com will feature interviews from all six candidates seeking the At-large seat on the Milford School Board of Education.

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