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Profile

Name: Michelle (Shell) Brownstein
Education: MD
Occupation: UNC Hospitals-surgeon
Website: www.michellebrownstein.com
Other contact information: michelle.brownstein@yahoo.com

Background/Experience

I was elected to the CHCCS Board of Education in 2009. I am currently Chair and was Vice Chair in 2012. Other Board experience includes serving as a representative on Chairs Collaboration Work Group, Curriculum, Community Action Committee, Dual Language, Gifted, Policy, PreK, PTA Council, Public School Foundation, Technology, and Twice exceptional. I have also been SIT liaison to Carrboro Elementary, Frank Porter Graham, Glenwood, Hospital School, Mary Scroggs, Phillips and Smith Middle.

Prior to serving on the CHCCS Board of Education, I was a school volunteer (e.g. Birthday Book Club, Coach Write, Odyssey of the Mind, Teacher Appreciation, Room parent, PTA), SIT parent co-chair, and Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC) team leader. I was an invited member on district committees (e.g. EC Director and Elementary Principal interview panels; Twice Exceptional Task Force; Superintendent’s Budget Committee). At the community and state level, I volunteered with Orange County’s Family Advocacy Network (FAN), served on the NCPTA State Board, was invited as a participant in Governor Perdue’s Family School Community Engagement Summit and spoke at the NC Conference on Exceptional Children and NC International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Conference. At a federal level, I served on the IDA Government Affairs Subcommittee. Most importantly, I am a parent. My four children have attended CHCC schools since kindergarten. They now attend district middle and high schools. My volunteer experience and my own children’s struggles in this school system fostered my desire and commitment to serve all children as a member of the CHCCS Board of Education. My passion has only grown while serving our community in this manner. [TOP]

The Reason I Am Running

I remain committed to working to identify, to support and to improve services and programs for the success of all students in this district. A significant step in the right direction occurred when, as a member of the CHCCS Board of Education, I hired Dr. Forcella as our new leader. I strongly support his focused initiatives to improving instruction and achievement for all students as outlined in his new long-range plan. However, hiring Dr. Forcella alone will not be enough to realize my steadfast goal that all children can and should realize their potential.

Why will hiring Dr. Forcella not be enough? Voters need to be mindful that this election cycle finds the welfare of our district at a critical juncture where experienced board leadership is imperative. While committed to effective instruction for all students, our district faces many challenges, including successfully opening new elementary schools, addressing a comprehensive facilities assessment, and fostering community partnerships. At the same time, our school system will have even fewer resources next year as our financial reserves from the 2010 Education Jobs Fund allocation are coming to an end and our state support of public schools is uncertain at best. Given these challenges, we must have experienced board leadership. I do not want these difficult realities to undermine the success I know Dr. Forcella will accomplish. If elected, I will continue to use my experience and collaborative skills to work with my fellow board members to successfully face these challenges on behalf of all of our children. [TOP]

What I Would Like to Accomplish

This is my short list: I want elimination of all achievement gaps - which requires annual growth for all students and accelerated growth for those who are behind; I want effective, evidence based literacy instruction in every classroom; I want our school district to maximize the resources available in our educationally committed community; I want our board to be as transparent and effective as possible; I want all of our schools to provide an equal opportunity regardless of the age or size of the school; I want our teachers and administrators to have easy access to effective professional development and instructional resources while maximize sharing expertise across schools; I want accountability to include implementation not only of initiatives in general, but specific to students who are not realizing their potential; I want parents and teachers to have efficient, effective communication. [TOP]