I support Tom Parrish for the School District 51 Board of Education. Tom progressed from teacher to school principal and then district administrator over duringf his 30-plus-year career.
I have known Parrish since 2000, when I began working as a program evaluator and Parrish was my supervisor as the executive director of school effectiveness. He always looks for ways to make organizational improvements. His leadership with him included:
• Sponsoring a study of the effectiveness of reading instructional assistants;
• Conceptualizing a way to measure instruction by integrating test scores of student performance and growth;
• Supporting the participation of three district schools in the Colorado Performance Excellence program;
• Facilitating district-wide curriculum decisions in reading programs; and
• Implementing an extensive leadership-training program for principals.
As a member of the school board, Parrish would, I expect, play an active role in developing ways to assess the effectiveness of existing education programs, ways of supporting staff through ongoing development and ways of tailoring education to the unique needs and interests of students.
I expect Parrish to be a strong and influential member of the board because of his personal qualities that include:
—Acting with integrity on what needs to be done, not what is popular;
—Supporting students, teachers, principals and parents;
—Being guided by principles derived from years of educational experience;
—Enacting leadership through example that is respectful, humble and empowering of others.
Without a doubt the schools and students of Mesa County would be better served by Tom Parrish on the board than anyone else I can imagine.
WILLIAM LIGGETT, PH.D.