There is no way to anticipate every challenge and opportunity our schools will face in the years ahead, but I can tell you what priorities will guide my decisions as your representative on the school board.

Helping the Helpers – Whether at home, at school, or at the medical clinic, we can only provide good care to kids if we take care of ourselves. As chair of the Wellness Committee at St. Charles Medical Group, I am spearheading initiatives to increase job satisfaction and reduce burnout among physicians and advanced practice providers. I’ll bring that experience to the school board, pushing for measures that provide the necessary support to educators and staff to keep our best people from leaving the job they love.

Building Bridges – Our community offers an extraordinary range of services to children and families, but the space between those services create cracks that our kids slip through. It often falls to our schools to catch them. I see this not as a burden, but as an opportunity for those of us who love working with kids to make a positive difference in the lives of families. Through my work as a nurse practitioner and as a member of the St. Charles Medical Group’s Board of Directors, I have built relationships with providers across specialties and disciplines. I will draw on that experience to strengthen the safety net and help our kids reach their full potential.

Empowering Parents – I have had a wonderful experience with my daughter’s elementary school, but I know that experience is not universal. Too many parents of children with disabilities, special healthcare needs, and diverse cultural backgrounds feel overwhelmed, ignored, or diminished by our education system. As a nurse, I was trained to approach people holistically, to look beyond a particular problem and see the whole person. I will maintain that approach as a school board member, pushing our schools to go beyond the minimum standard of “free and appropriate public education” and create a learning environment that is truly inclusive. Accomplishing this means empowering parents to expect the very best for their children, and supporting teachers and staff so they have the tools necessary to meet those expectations.

On May 21, vote Amy Tatom for Bend-La Pine School Board.