Marshall Public Schools School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Board members serve a 6 year term.

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  • Christine McComb

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    Carrie Nicholson

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Biographical Information

Why do you want to serve? What are your qualifications?

What has your experience been with public schools, and how would that influence your work on the board?

What are your priorities for the district? Why and how did you choose those?

Grade the superintendent's overall performance. Where is he or she performing well, and where can he or she improve?

How should districts evaluate teacher performance? Do you think teachers are doing a good job?

Do teachers receive adequate compensation, support and professional development to be successful in their jobs?

Do families and community members feel welcome and respected in their school?

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Professional Experience I am a 1999 graduate of Albion College and then completed my medical degree at the University of Michigan Medical School. I initially worked in a clinic in Harrison, MI and did inpatient and outpatient medicine and was on the executive committee of the hospital board at MidMichigan Medical Center - Clare. I taught medical students and physician assistant students during their clinical rotations. In 2013, I moved to Albion and now work at the Albion and Marshall Medical Associates.
Political Experience no prior experience in public office
Family I have been married for 15 years to Mike Nicholson. He works for the Calhoun ISD as a school psychologist. I have three children ages 11, 8, and 5.
I've always valued education and have been involved in my kids' schooling, but last year I became more involved at the policy level as Albion struggled with how to approach its future. I helped lead the annexation campaign as I felt that was the best option that we had. I feel it was in the best interest of Marshall as well to voluntarily acquire the Albion School District. This gave MPS additional time and funding to plan a transition that would not have been there if MPS acquired Albion after a dissolution. With dissolution, the Calhoun ISD would have redrawn the boundaries. I would like to work on the board to help make this new district best for Albion and Marshall students.
I was educated in the Marquette Area Public School District. My children have attended public schools in Clare, Battle Creek, Albion, and Marshall including Head Start and GSRP. We've dealt with special education services at various levels. I've volunteered through the PTO but also have directly worked in the classroom in Clare and Albion and led hands on small group weekly science lessons for my son's second grade class. My experiences give me a broad perspective on education that will be helpful as a board member.
My priorities for the district are to continue to work on narrowing the achievement gap between groups of students that we see based on economics and race and to make sure we have programming to support students who both are college bound and those who aren't. I would also focus on turning Harrington Elementary into a great school that would attract kids back to Albion and strengthen our community as well as our district.
I would give Dr. Davis an A for his overall performance. I think he does well in setting the vision and tone for the district and I appreciate that he is working to close the achievement gap between kids in upper and lower income families. He has a difficult job of bringing two diverse communities together. You can see he has made it a priority of understanding Albion and making Albion families feel included by taking part in Albion community events including the recent NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet, the Diversity Committee, and Festival of the Forks. A true leader does best when he understands the people he is working with.
Teacher evaluations are tricky as there are so many factors besides what the teacher has control of that affects student performance, particularly poverty, the number of stressful events a child has experienced, and the education level of the student's parents. We can see this in the night and day difference in kindergarten readiness in high poverty areas compared to wealthy districts. Student test scores and student growth are important, but care should be taken to not place too much emphasis on the pure numbers for any given year, but to look at trends and at the numbers in context of the students in the class. Overall, I think teachers are doing a good job.
No, I think teachers should have better compensation and support. Teachers' salaries have been declining and starting salaries are low compared to other professionals with equivalent levels of education. In the U.S., 8 percent of teachers leave the profession each year. Meanwhile, enrollment in teacher education programs have reduced by about 1/3 in the last five years. Increasing levels of support, mentoring, and a starting salary over $40,000 make a significant difference in teacher retention. It is important that we attract and keep quality talent in the teaching profession to give our children the best education.
I think there are mixed feelings on how welcome and respected families feel in their school.