‘The voice of teachers’

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sherri Story is a candidate for Suffolk’s School Board, and she is running for a seat in the Chuckatuck borough.

Story is a recently retired teacher from King’s Fork High School, and she taught biology for both the Advanced Placement classes and the International Baccalaureate program. She worked for Suffolk Public Schools for 12 years and has a total of 24 years of experience as an educator.

Story retired to pursue a seat on the board when she learned the incumbent, Linda Bouchard, did not plan to run for re-election.

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“I feel like I’ve been on this path for three or four years now. I’ve been actively talking with Linda Bouchard and when she decided to retire, I felt like I was finally ready,” Story said.

Story believes that she can be a valuable asset to the board, because she just retired in June, and that makes her a better advocate for the current needs of teachers.

“I’m the only recently retired Suffolk teacher, and I believe I bring the voice of teachers to the table,” Story said.

While Story has enjoyed the last five years living in Suffolk, she believes that Suffolk Public Schools still needs some work.

“Suffolk is a really big little city, and people are passionate about the city,” Story said. “People pour their life into the city to make it better. Suffolk Public Schools is lacking.”

Story believes that she can make Suffolk Public Schools better in a multitude of ways. The status quo is not on Story’s agenda, and she plans on making changes that she believes should have already been done according to the School Board Policy Manual.

The policy manual encourages board members to visit and observe the schools, and Story can’t recall a time when School Board members would come and observe the normal operation of the school during her time at King’s Fork.

As a former teacher herself, Story understands what low teacher morale can do to a school, and she plans to fix that if elected to the board.

“Low teacher morale is infectious, contagious and is definitely perceived by students, which affects their motivation to learn. It needs attention at specific schools, attention that requires more than what buying a few doughnuts throughout the year can fix,” Story said. “I believe that instituting teacher and staff merit-based incentives would be one way to improve district-wide teacher morale and teacher effectiveness. This would also help retain teachers and be an incentive for new hires.”