Although there are three vacancies, only two people have come forward to run for School Board No. 7 in the Dearborn Heights School District.
Unless there is a written candidate, the council will be obliged to appoint a member after the election to fill the final seat.
There is also a partial seat for the election.
Leslie Windless and Nadia Nasir are campaigning for four-year terms, while Tawnya Sterlini is running for a partial term ending in December 2024.
The election is scheduled for November 8.
Nasir was nominated for a partial term on the board earlier this year, which expires with this election.
Nasir did not return several attempts to contact her for this story.
Windless works as a Student Success Navigator at Henry Ford College, specializing in underserved and underrepresented youth and has lived and worked in the Dearborn/Dearborn Heights area for six years.
She holds a Masters in Social Work from Walden University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. to Walden in the same. Her four children attend school in District 7.
“I’m passionate about many subjects,” Windless said. “I plan to prioritize school safety, transparency in communication, graduation rates, alumni support (support for the transition to adulthood), teaching and discipline practices taking account and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives. I have a decade of school board experience through the TGC Head Start Policy Council. Also, my advocacy at school board meetings over the past 2 years has already begun much of this work. »
She said she is a good candidate due to several qualifications she currently holds.
“My academic and professional qualifications make me an excellent candidate for this position, it is my dedication to this community that makes me the best choice for this office. Before deciding to run for the school board, I always volunteered in the community of Dearborn Heights, but specifically in the south end of the city.I have been a strong advocate for what is right at city council meetings and the D7 school board for years.
Three specific areas she would like to address are:
•Communication/transparency: I would recommend more public forums allowing the community to meet with members of the administration and the school board.
•Structured Shared Governance: I would advocate for a formal PTSA in each school that is overseen by the district and not managed separately from the district. I would also encourage the creation of an Education Foundation for the district.
• School Safety: I will advocate for hybrid committee meetings to foster greater accountability for committee decisions.
“On a personal note, the titles I am most proud of are wife and mother. Thank you to God, my husband and our children, who supported me every moment because there would be no way that I can make these commitments to our community without their support.
The candidate for the part-term seat is Sterlini, whose family has been rooted in the community for more than 60 years and she has lived here for 35 years.
She started school in 6th grade in District 7 and graduated from Annapolis High School, then earned an associate’s degree from Henry Ford Community College. She has worked in the financial industry for over 24 years and currently serves on the South Dearborn Heights Civic Association, Ecorse Creek Commission, Tax Increment Finance Authority Board and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Board.
“I will prioritize transparency,” Sterlini said. “From my attendance at board meetings, I don’t believe that all parents are kept informed of issues that arise in the schools. Good or bad parents need to know what is going on in their child’s school.
“I will listen to everyone. Whether we agree or not, everyone’s voice needs to be heard. We all have different views on things and if we listen to each other we can all grow together and move forward. the district in a positive direction.
The areas she would like to focus on are:
• School Safety – “Every student and teacher who walks through the doors should feel safe.”
• Special Education – “This group always seems to be left out. »
•Mental Health – “Covid has taken its toll not only physically, but mentally. I would love to hear from students, parents, teachers and parapros about what they are addressing and what they think is needed to improve these areas .
“I love this city and the school district. I am proud to have graduated from District 7 and want every student to feel the same,” she said. “I want each of them to come away with a high school diploma and a path to success, whether it’s 4-year college, trade school, military, etc. I want them to have a prosperous future.”