Her experience includes running a construction business with her husband, Chad, so she understands the financial and business aspects that affect the district. People may also remember her from Don’s Steak House.
She is the mother of three children ages 24, 21 and 15.
After substitute teaching for two years, Ms. Perkins feels she now has a much better idea of what Hendry County schools need. Substituting in grades K-12, she feels she has learned a lot and reached a better level of parent/teacher understanding. She said she has found the teacher’s job to be “overwhelming” and “exhausting.”
She sees the Common Core curriculum “ridiculous,” and says that level of testing asks too much of children, adding, “there’s got to be a better way.”
With a special needs child herself, she said she has felt disappointment in how these children are handled in the school system. She believes that more emphasis should be placed on the child.
“All kids need to be treated fairly,” she noted.
Ms. Perkins has always been a “helper” and a “doer.” She said she doesn’t mind rolling up her sleeves and getting the job at hand done. During her lifetime, she has spent much time volunteering for various local organizations and causes. As president of the local Buck Masters Chapter, she was part of the original group that set up the Danny Woosley Scholarship Fund to honor his legacy as an avid hunter who donated a lot of his time to our youth and to help local students.
Always involved in sports, she has worked with children, coaching various youth teams and serving on the LaBelle Little League Board. She could be seen for many years pitching in at her children’s schools.
Recently, Ms. Perkins became involved as a volunteer with the Special Olympics program, just taking hold in Hendry County. She was on hand at the LaBelle Community Park, behind LaBelle Elementary School last spring for the initial Special Olympics games. During that introduction to the program special needs students from across the county took part in an array of games and fun. Ms. Perkins is committed to helping expand the program for Hendry County youth.
She currently holds a seat on the LaBelle Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
It’s all about the kids for Ms. Perkins, who said, “I love all kids – and I’ve raised a pile of ‘em!” Alluding to her past volunteering, she said of a position on the school board, “This would be a chance to give back more.”
She said she has concerns about the new private food service in Hendry’s schools and doesn’t believe it’s “working out.”
Ms. Perkins believes that her experience shows she’s a hard worker and also believes that “common sense needs to be brought back into the schools.”
To do that people need to know what’s happening in the school district and Ms. Perkins believes she can facilitate that as a board member. She wants to see board members visit the schools more often and be more accountable to the public.
She feels that people need to stand up for our children and hopes to be one of the leaders who make that happen.
Besides being more responsive to the needs of the students, Ms. Perkins also wants to see more attention paid to the district’s budget. As a business owner, she feels she can bring a lot to that process.
“There are several reasons why I chose to run for this position. I truly believe in change. I believe we need new blood and new ideas to become a more solid school system. I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to parents, staff members, students and the community at large, encouraging an open dialogue.
Ms. Perkins said she understands that the school board’s challenges cannot be fixed in just four years, but everyone on the board needs to remain vigilant about the ways and means of improvement.
She said she looks forward to getting more deeply into school board business and learning as she goes.
If elected, she said she would like to see more parent/teacher/child communication at the end of her term in office. She wants to “close the communication gap” at the community level.
Ms. Perkins explains:
“A school board member is a trustee of the community that elects him or her. As a mother of three children, one with special needs, I believe I have a lot of knowledge with the diverse challenges it entails.
“My efforts as a board member would center on serving all of the children of the community. One child is no more important than another.
“By working together we can all share in the knowledge and satisfaction that we have provided for the educational needs of all children and have built a district where students, parents, teachers and staff feel they are welcome and that they belong. I ask for your support because it is time for a change!”