These are some of the key responsibilities of the OPS Board:These are the skills and experience I have to meet those responsibilities:
Issue bonds to raise funds for capital projectsI was a bond finance lawyer for 22 years.
Make budget and allocation decisions about a budget of more than $600,000,000.The bond transactions I worked on were for millions of dollars [in one case, a billion dollars] and required an understanding of the budgets and competing interests being financed.
Understand detailed contracts and reports.My responsibilities as a bond finance lawyer included negotiating and writing dozens of documents necessary to reflect the specific details of each of the hundreds of transactions on which I represented my clients.
Balance competing interests for the best outcome.My law practice did not take me into the courtroom. Instead, I spent time in board rooms working to create transactions that best met the needs of the several parties involved in each transaction.
Approve curriculum and other District policiesI wrote district- wide social studies curriculum and served on several District committees addressing issues such as grading scales and classroom scheduling.
Maintain a productive relationship with the 5,000 teachers that are responsible for educating and encouraging more than 52,000 students in the OPS District. As a former teacher, I have a unique understanding and appreciation of the demands of the classroom and how important it is to have a productive relationship with the OPS District administrators.
Respect the diverse communities in the District.I grew up in District 66, raised a family in the Dundee neighborhood, currently live in the Aksarben neighborhood, taught – and participate in initiatives – in North Omaha and did my student teacher observations and worked closely with high school faculty in South Omaha.
Know how to be a productive Board member.I was elected to serve as a member of the Omaha Education Association Board for the maximum number of terms, overseeing contract negotiations, meeting regularly with District administrators and responding to concerns of my teacher-constituents.
I was also appointed by Governor Dave Heineman to serve two terms on the state-wide Nebraska on Nebraska Educational, Health, Cultural, and Social Services Finance Authority. I was vice-Chairman for one of those terms.
Be able to work productively with groups of people.I have developed the ability to work collaboratively with groups of people ranging from my 4-person family unit, my 100 law partners, hundreds of 30-student classroom and thousands of fellow teachers.
Spend 10-20 hours/week reading materials, attending committee meetings and attending the Board meeting and engaging in community outreach activities.My career as a bond finance lawyer, and my career as a high school teacher, prepared me for working approximately 60 hours/week, including evenings and weekends. I am recently retired – but I am fully prepared to continue that commitment of time in my capacity as a member of the OPS Board.
Be a positive public representative.After teaching for 16 years, I have developed public speaking skills and the ability to explain information to large groups of people.
Serve as an additional channel of communication between the parents and OPS District administrators and taxpayers and teachers and students.As a parent and teacher and taxpayer that has worked with students and OPS District administrators for dozens of years, I am uniquely equipped to understand and evaluate and communicate the issues and concerns that must be address and balanced to create eager learners for tomorrow’s workforce.