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Carly West Gelles

Educator for Education


Why I decided to run for School Board

I have always believed that education is the most powerful tool to change the world. Through the pandemic we lost a lot, especially when it comes to schools. In the past years we have lost learning, lost relationships with students, and the community has suffered because of it. Society has often let teachers take the blame for these losses. As a passionate teacher, I can tell you that this is not the case. I am running for a seat on Norfolk’s School Board because I believe that we need someone to represent the community who knows exactly what it is like in the classrooms right now. We need to bring unity to our education community, unity among teachers and parents, and unity on the board as well. I believe, that if elected, I can bridge the gaps and work with everyone in order to bring better quality education to the students of Norfolk.

My Platform

Our schools are in crisis, and we need someone on the inside who can identify the issues.

Here are the issues I hope to address:
  • Mental Health – Currently, the only resources available are to students who pose a physical threat to themselves or others. This means that many of the students who are battling depression, have lost their drive, or even their ability to come to school don’t qualify for the help they so clearly need. Guidance counselors are overwhelmed, and the school psychologist only gets to work on testing for disabilities. We need to bring in partnerships with our community to allow all students who are struggling to get the help they need.
  • Early Intervention – Student achievement gaps become apparent early on. This does not mean they don’t have the ability to perform on the level of their peers, but they may need additional help to get caught up. If we are able to identify the struggle, we should help those children before they become at risk. We could partner with community centers to create mentor programs for after-school help. There are ways we can intervene without breaking the budget. There is no reason children should struggle academically without receiving the support they need.
  • Safety in Schools – Post-COVID schools have become more dangerous. It’s time we invest in the safety of our children. We need to actually purchase devices to secure doors during lockdowns. We need to hire additional security. With more security, along with healthcare professionals, we can help mitigate some of the safety issues that occur in schools. Schools can’t do it alone though. We need a community to rise up against violence, and to help support school staff when it comes to holding the students accountable for their actions. No one can solve the issues alone, but together we can.
  • Unity Instead of Division – There is so much division in our society, and there is no room for that in our schools. The messaging lately has been about teachers and parents working against one another. We have the same goals for our children, so we should be working towards them together. We accomplish more when we work together than when we work against one another. The same applies to our Board members. We all want successful schools that create successful community members. We need to work to find solutions rather than tear one another down. We are defined by what we build, not by what we destroy.
  • Community Partnerships – As a community we want our students to graduate prepared to do one of three things: further their education, prepare for a trade, or prepare for the workforce. We already have partnerships with higher education through the Dual Enrollment program. We could partner with industry leaders in our area to ensure that our students are graduating with desired qualities for employment, as well as partner with trades certification programs. This supports our community and our students’ needs. There are so many different groups that want to help our mission of education, and we need to bridge the gaps to gain the support people want to offer.

Contact Us

If you have questions or want to reach out and take part in our campaign, please reach out.

Give me a call/email:

Carly West Gelles
(757) 513-3855

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