My name is Nicole Fitch and I am currently running for Bend La Pine School Board, Zone 7. I am currently a real estate broker with John L. Scott Realty, but I have 15 years experience in the field of education in Orange County, California. My career has been dedicated to educating students in public schools. I’m honored to have been an elementary school teacher, an elementary assistant principal, and an instructional specialist, helping to evaluate instructional materials for a statewide English Language Arts/English Language Development curriculum.
From the classroom to the assistant principal’s office, I have done the hard work it takes to give kids the tools they need to succeed in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. I believe to my core that education works best when educators have high expectations for their students, and for themselves.
Not only do I have the educational experience, but I am a mom. My husband and I have two daughters attending Bend-La Pine Schools. I have volunteered in their classrooms because I believe schools work best when parents are active partners in their kids’ education. My daughters’ and I are actively involved in National Charity League, a mother/daughter philanthropy within our community. There is nothing more important to me than the safety, learning and growth of our daughters.
To achieve excellence, Bend-La Pine Schools must partner with parents and other student- focused organizations in the community. It must hold itself, and its students, to the highest standards. It must be open with our community about its successes and its failures. With my educational background and expertise, I believe that I can be an integral part of creating a district that nurtures the growth of all students’ unique and special gifts by fostering academic success and independence. As a successful board member, I will advocate for students, parents and teachers; oversee categorical funds from the state and federal government with the intention to support students achievement; provide a rigorous and engaging education to all students to lead them to college/career and life readiness; and inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow
I have strong values that drive everything I do.
• Transparency: Promote accountability and trust by providing clear visibility and understanding of actions, decisions and processes.
• Hard Work: Fostering personal growth, building character and the accomplishment of goals and success.
• Care and Passion: A sense of purpose, motivation and fulfillment, leading to greater creativity, innovation and happiness.
• Equality: Ensuring that all individuals are treated with fairness, dignity and respect, regardless of their race, gender or religion.
• Creative Freedom: Encouraging exploration, self-expression and new ideas.
• Innovation: Enabling students to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world.
Everyone agrees that students must be Bend-La Pine Schools’ top priority. Putting students first requires an open dialogue with the community that encourages relentless, transparent improvement of our schools.
I am running for the Bend-La Pine School Board to help our schools do a better job for all students, current and future. I encourage you to please check out my website at www.nicoleforblpschools.com to learn more about me, keep updated on upcoming events, and learn how you can be a volunteer.
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Nicole Fitch lives in Bend and is a candidate for the board of the Bend-La Pine Schools.
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The job of the School Board is to develop policy and curricula that best satisfies the desires of families of the District…. To best provide an academic environment that prepares the youth of the District for the future. It is not to make some small fringe of people happy, it is not to experiment with new-age theories, and it most definitely is NOT to promote feel-good politicized concepts that do NOT prepare the kids for their future.
What we have seen in Oregon, in general, and Bend-LaPine schools in particular, over the past decade is plummeting test scores, degraded perception of our schools, and DROPPING enrollment at the same time our population has rapidly grown. A 10% drop in enrollment at a time district population grew by 4%. And as if making a joke, the District Director acted like they did not know why enrollment dropped.
Fact of the matter, America’s university system, which trains our educators, has lurched to the left. The following is the result of a study of political identification at US colleges, focusing on typical majors for educators/teachers:
** “All-Faculty” = 72% Liberal, 15% Conservative (50% Democrat, 11% Republican)
** “English Literature” = 88% Liberal, 3% Conservative (69% Democrat, 2% Republican)
** “Psychology” = 84% Liberal, 8% Conservative (63% Democrat, 7% Republican)
** “Sociology” = 77% Liberal, 9% Conservative (59% Democrat, 0% Republican)
** “Biology” = 75% Liberal, 17% Conservative (56% Democrat, 13% Republican)
** “Math” = 69% Liberal, 17% Conservative (43% Democrat, 15% Republican)
** “Education” = 61% Liberal, 29% Conservative (55% Democrat, 7% Republican)
Fact of the matter, the current make up of the Bend LaPine School board is 100% Leftist… there is not a single director to push back in the slightest against the most Liberal/Leftist proposals.
So, the idea some have stated that we should just leave the education development and implementation up to the “experts”, the “professional educators” without parental “interference” is beyond fricking laughable. Someone saying such is clearly someone who is, themself, guaranteed to be one of the same political ideology as those currently controlling the school. Of course there are tons of fantastic teachers in the BLPSD that are either not Liberal/Leftist, or at least try to keep their own political ideology from influencing all of their teaching and putting many of their students in discomfort. But in order to have good overall district policy, we HAVE to have more balance on our school board so that ALL families in the district are represented.
So you're saying we should be more like Desantistan? Been paying attention to what's been happening down there in Florida lately at the K-12 and college level? How about next door in Idahoistan? The beautiful R legislature would like to make teachers and librarians criminals. Great future you want for us alle.
Meanwhile in FLA..
No indoctrination being planned here is there.
Love the 69% math majors being liberal. That might explain why those who are right side of the fence believe that 81million votes aren't greater than 74 million as happened in 2020.
Meanwhile, in Arizona
Too funny.... yes I would LOVE if Oregon could be so blessed as to have the leadership of a pro-family/pro-parent/pro-child governor like DeSantis rather than politically Left ideologues perpetrating a bizarre experiment with our kids:
For those people who would oppose Ms. Finch because she wants parents to have more say in our kids education... claiming that parents should simply accept "the professional experts" (aka largely politically Left ideologues), a few recent news bits to consider:
"More than 3.2 million US public school students [which would include our schools] are covered by guidance that blocks parents from knowing whether their child identifies as a different gender in the classroom — which could become federal policy if President Biden’s Title IX proposals are approved in May. At least 168 districts governing 5,904 schools nationwide have rules on the books that prevent faculty and staff from disclosing to parents a student’s gender status without that student’s permission, according to a list compiled by the conservative group Parents Defending Education and shared with The Post."
And this, from Churchill High School, over in Lane County:
"A screenshot of an assignment given to students at Churchill High School has parents up in arms. In it, a teacher asks students who were absent to “write a short story of a paragraph or two […about] a sexual fantasy that will have NO penetration of any kind or oral sex (no way of passing an STI).” The assignment tells students to pick three items to use in their story, and gives examples of romantic music, candles, massage oils, or flavored syrup. It summarizes the assignment by saying, “Your story should show that you can show and receive loving physical affection without having sex.”
The idea that parents should just accept being excluded from our kids education is the heights of absurdity. Not only will then not get education that good parents would recognize as far more likely to prepare our kids for life after K-12 schooling, our kids are actually being corrupted and put at grave risk with we, the parents, treated like adversaries of the schools.
We desperately need balance on our school board by electing new directors, like Nicole Finch, who will respect Central Oregon families and treat parents like the ultimate concerned parties for our kids that we are. As it is now, the BLPSD School Board has gained a hostile position against the families of the district, and Ms Finch's opponent in this race will elevate that hostility to entirely new levels.
Now this woman/mother has qualifications and an investment in our schools that our Central Oregon families need.
It is absolutely clear what Nicole Fitch's qualifications are, it is absolutely clear she is invested in the schools having two kids attending BLPSD schools. It is absolutely clear that Nicole Fitch's focus is on working with families to create schools optimized to be a healthy learning environment to prepare kids for the future. With Nicole, we can be sure that the focus is on the kids / families of the district, first and foremost.
Unfortunately, Nicole Fitch's opponent in this race has not seemed to want to comment on her qualifications (schools, jobs, etc.), not comment on her experience as a parent (no idea if she is a parent or not), and in the opponent's self-promotion incredibly left PARENTS out of the important interested parties in the schools, instead showing her primary focus is on teachers and fringe issues. It is clear that the kids and parents will be the focus with Nicole, as she is clearly invested in making sure the schools are the best they can be for her kids, and all of the kids in the District.
I guess I can't blame Nicole's opponent, ("_______ for Oregon") for avoiding her own qualifications and policy positions, as from what I could tell, I have never seen a more vapid resume for someone asking to be a leader in the community. Maybe it's just me, but when I see Nicole's opponent use "________ for Oregon", I can't help but think this person is looking at the school board as a political stepping stone rather than a focus on the families and kids of Bend/Lapine Schools. Maybe that is why, when Nicole's opponent "___________ for Oregon" was asked on her Facebook page what her qualifications were, and what her positions were on major issues in the schools, rather than respond, she instead blocked commenting.
Contrast that with Nicole Fitch, who is proud to present her qualifications, ... Nicole has every reason to be proud of what she has done, Nicole tells us about her family, and Nicole discusses her positions. Simply put, we would be lucky to have Nicole provide some balance on this monolithic echo chamber of a school board, rather than instill another fringe ideologue with doubtful focus on our kids.
Which member is the opponent?
Kina Chadwick... the substitute board member... an identity-hire following the disgraced resignation of the former itentity-hire (Janet Sarai Llerandi... investigated for ethics violations and following several totally inappropriate events). Kina has zero qualifications for the job other than her "identity".
Based on your comment about loving to have Desantis as our gov, Nicole would not fit the bill in Florida because of her core beliefs as she listed. She's too liberal. That being said her commentary about herself leads me to believe she'd be a good fit for the Bend School Board.
As to Churchill, that was definitely an over the top assignment request. As to whether that's as endemic as you and the Desantistan folks think it is , I doubt it.
'Everyone agrees that students must be Bend-La Pine Schools’ top priority.'
You might be surprised.
As long as you aren't espousing white guilt, mandatory masking/vaccinations and gender bias, a la the current board, and add true intellectual diversity, you have my vote. The current board is nothing more than The Borg, who considers independent thought a sin.
Regarding mandatory masking and vaccinations for children, where are the high quality studies showing they provide children, other than those on hospice, survival benefit that outweighs the risks? I challenge anyone to come up with one. The first question to answer, if you take this challenge, is to define what in the world a high quality study design even consists of. Then summarize the salient points. Otherwise, you aren't a "true believer of science".
SKittish, BRAVO and SPOT ON!
It's a normally difficult to find high quality research on a particular condition or question in science. Many things we do and believe don't have very solid backing, yet listening to the "experts," the "science has been settled". The point I am trying to make is that so many people on the "pro vacc/mask" side have called people like me "anti" but without showing any shred of evidence to back up their claims. Lets just make it an open call for them to show their work, education and analytical skills. I would particularly like it if a medical researcher, doctor in infectious disease or epidemiology would care to come up with their best shot. I could be wrong, but doubt there is a single study using the gold standard of research showing a survival benefit in children for masks or vaccinations: enough with the promotion of garbage science. They had the hardest time even admitting the simple idea that natural infection could even be considered in lieu of vaccination.
As a Ph.D.engineer I can't let your ignorance go unchallenged. The main reason that in the past 150 years people have gone from living in cabins with outhouses to orbiting Pluto is because of the respect for the scientific consensus developed by the experts in each field. The consensus works so well because anybody with the right training can indenpendently test it. It takes years of hard work to achieve this training, which is why most critics (such as yourself?) would rather self-appoint themselves "experts" in anything that strikes their fancy.
Real expertise is very limited in scope. Einstein and Hawking were acknowledged experts in their fields, yet their fields represented only a tiny fraction of the work being done in Physics. Most experts spend decades in their fields, didn't start out in college planning to be experts and are anonymous to the general public (and have no problem with that). It's only when ignorant, lazy, self-appointed "experts" start demanding equal say that people like me have to remind them that in science you have to earn the right to be listened to.
CSKowland is spot on. Being a parent is not necessarily enough to be listened to. I’ve seen some of the worst parents ever at school board meetings. If parents don’t like what the education professionals are doing then they should homeschool.
I think CSK has an excellent point about your commentary Skittish. Yours is mostly close to what is known as "Gish Gabbing". A tactic used by a hero of yours D. Trump.
There is no mandatory masking in Bend-La Pine schools, what on earth are you talking about?!?
And yeah there are lots of studies about vaccine efficacy
You are correct, there is no current mandatory masking. What are you talking about?
Perhaps to clarify, as long as she never supported mandatory masking and does not believe in mandating vaccinations for school children currently or in the future. Does that help? By not asking for clarification and jumping to false conclusions, you don't do yourself, or me, much good.
Indeed there are "lots of studies about vaccine efficacy," but I don't think you know how to critically evaluate them. Are all studies equal? IF some studies are better than others, can you tell me why? When deciding important public policy that limits peoples' rights, what standard should we demand: low, medium or gold standard?
What rights we're limited?
This existing school board refused to consider any information that would contradict the mask mandates, so it is reasonable to point out the problem with an ideological monolithic group of School Board Directors relative to this issue. My family and I met with Melissa Barnes Dholakia and Amy Tatom during the summer of 2021-22 regarding masking. During our meeting, I presented countless studies that showed the lack of efficacy of masking, as well as the danger inherent to children (speech issues, depression, school drop-outs, asthma, migraines, suicide, etc.) from being required to be in an environment of mandatory, universal masking. I asked if Ms. Dholakia or Ms. Tatom would, in any event ever (even if they believed in it) even do so little as write to the State to ask for an end to mask mandates if they reviewed other scientific support showing lack of efficacy / negative repercussions of masking children, and they flat-out-said-NO.
What this says is that this school board, as it currently consists, cares far more about their ideology and political existence than the wellbeing of our children. Anyone putting children first would certainly have at least considered that masks were not effective, and more importantly, that the contributed to childhood depression (which has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic).
First, lots of adults like to hide behind children claiming they are doing what is in their best interest. But there's a reason for the cliche: The path to h*ll is paved with good intentions. Simply having good intentions does not excuse us when we cause far greater harm than good. When dealing with thousands of people and children, their health and education, one has to know what one is doing. The Nuremburg trials did not excuse soldiers who used the defense of they were following orders.
The current school board does have the defense that this was pushed on them by OHA and the governor. But was there any wiggle room with how they implemented the policies? Did they attempt to even consider they might be wrong given the evolving science and multiple examples that we were being misled? How many times can we be blatantly misled by so called experts, before we stop giving them our trust? At least if they had done that, I could give them some space. They didn’t genuinely try and didn’t appear to listen, which is what I will blame them for. They just went along like the obsequious puppets they are.
You were in the extremely difficult position of trying to prove a negative: the burden of proof was on OHA to prove the masks were beneficial overall. OHA and the State of Oregon failed. This is all just an example of why it is important to elect competent people, not identity hires who may, but maybe not, be primarily motivated by Divisive, Exclusionary Ideology.
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