Mandy Paschall is seeking election to the Salida Board of Education for District 3.
“Public schools should be the means to provide quality education and I’m running because I believe in the Salida district’s mission which state that every child deserves access to a quality education in a safe and secure environment,” Paschall said. “Our goal is to prepare our students “to achieve their greatest potential” and I want them to be successful in whatever they choose post graduation. To accomplish this we must ensure competency in math, reading, writing and science. Good schools can challenge some kids while great schools can challenge all kids.”
She said she has spent the last year listening to teachers, parents and community members who helped her determine short and long term goals for the district. Short term goals, include keeping education in-person during COVID-19 and ensuring teachers have the needed resources, including substitutes, to provide support and intervention for kids who are behind.
“Salida is developing a strategic plan and new graduation requirements,” she said. “My goal is to ensure that community voices are heard. This includes strengthening communication and transparency within the district on all levels.”
She said she feels the need to focus on mental health services for students and staff. For staff this includes creating a safe space where they feel respected and valued as well as opportunities for development and growth.
“Our teachers have endured so much over the 18 months and they are our greatest resource,” she said.
She said her long term goals focus on providing quality education to students while navigating our rapidly growing school district
“We need to creatively use our resources to develop plans for building use and programming to best meet student needs and to retain and attract new teachers which will require community collaboration for increased teacher pay and affordable housing. This will require community support as it is a multi-focal problem the school board cannot address alone.”
At the state level she said, we need to advocate for better education funding.
Paschall said she is excited to focus on increasing partnership with Colorado Mountain College and local businesses to offer additional trade school options, apprenticeships and internships.
She has three daughters in the district which she said has enabled her to connect with staff across the board, in grades eight, six and four. Since her children became school aged, she has volunteered countless hours before COVID-19, as well as served on leadership councils, Salida District Accountability Committee and Longfellow Accountability Committee.
“Through this I’ve learned the strengths of our district, current priorities and upcoming challenges,” she said.
Paschall has a BA in anthropology and a BS and masters in nursing. She is a family nurse practitioner and registered nurse and worked for five years as a pediatric/pediatric ICU nurse and eight years as a family nurse practitioner in a primary care setting.
She said she has extensive experience working with kids and families in acute crisis and long term management of chronic illness and prevention.
“I have a passion for public education, take time to be informed and prepared and I’m able to listen to all sides of an issue and communicate respectfully,” she said. “My involvement over the last year has proven that I will work hard for our staff and students with a focus of always keeping them in the forefront of decision making.”