MERCHN

GREEN

For Indian River County School Board, District 2
A Pioneer for Positive Change

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Recommended by TC Palm and the Realtors Association of Indian River County as the BEST Candidate for District 2!

I am Merchon Green running for the IRC School Board, District 2 seat.  I am a native of Indian River County—born and raised. I received the most incredible education through the IRC Public Schools.  I began my academic pursuits at Citrus Elementary School, moving on to Dodgertown Elementary School and later graduating from Vero Beach High School. The passion and dedication of the teachers and leaders in our school district set me on an incredibly fulfilling journey; I received a full academic scholarship to attend Florida State University, then an academic scholarship to Southern University Law Center.

As a School Board member, my priorities would be:

My district involvement, advocacy, legal, technology and business background sets me a part from my opponents. I have spent the last year and a half advocating on behalf of citizens, parents, and students through Pioneering Change, Inc. I am the only candidate active in our school district. I currently serve on two School District committees. I have also spoken at numerous Board meetings and attended workshops. I have studied the budget. I have researched issues/programs being presented to the board, as well as, issues currently affecting our district.

I have also researched leading districts in our state and spoken with their personnel. I compare our budget to their budget, our FSA scores to their scores and their programs being offered to ours. I contact their administrators with questions about certain programs they have in place that are successful in their district. I also research grants available to our district that could be used to improve academic achievement and teacher pay through bonuses.

I’ve done all of this without pay for the past year and a half because this is my home. This is my community and I care about the future of our students. Through my public school education, I was blessed to receive a full academic scholarship to both Florida State for undergrad and Southern University Law Center for law school. Our district’s current condition will not produce those opportunities for most student. I want to ensure that our students receive educational opportunities that place them in position to be successful in whatever path they choose.

In addition, I would like to use my expertise to assist with bettering our school district. My legal, technology and business education and experience provides a unique skill set that no current board member or candidate has. My education and experience has afforded me the ability to: research, analyze and interpret laws; create, analyze and interpret contracts; create, analyze and interpret policies, as well as, compliance requirements. I have constructed and managed budgets, contracts and organizational policies. I also understand when it is legally necessary to hire counsel and when it is a matter that can be handled in house. Thus, I will be able to save taxpayers’ money by voting against incurring unnecessary legal fees.

Not only will I bring those skills to the board I will join with a community mindset. y community involvement has reinforced my belief that it takes a community to bring positive change. Through intentional collaboration, we can foster creativity and achieve stronger outcomes.  We must, as community leaders, citizens, parents, students and school district employees be bold and NAME the problems we face while offering constructive and attainable opportunities that will move our agenda forward. We must work to engage all of our stakeholders to develop community-driven solutions that consider the WHOLE student.

I look forward to working across the community to earn your trust and, ultimately, your vote.

Moments with Merchon!

Meet Merchon

Born and raised in Indian River County and a product of Indian River County public schools, Merchon Green has deep roots in the community. She is a graduate of Vero Beach Jr. High School and Vero Beach Sr High School.

Merchon’s parents, Brenda Webb Green and Mickey Green, are also products of Indian River County public schools and lifelong residents of Indian River County. Merchon’s Father is the owner of Mickey’s Expert Lawn and Tree Service. Her mother has 25 years of service as a bus driver for the Indian River County School District and her sister is an elementary school teacher in the district, as well. Merchon has over 15 relatives that work in the School District and over 40 relatives attending Indian River County Public Schools.

From a young age, Merchon’s parents instilled in her the belief that education is freedom. That set her on a path to receive a full academic scholarship to Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and a minor in Communications. And later, an academic scholarship to Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, LA where she earned a Juris Doctorate in Law. In addition, Merchon is the founder of MDG Advisory Group, a full-service consulting firm and also a licensed realtor, health/life insurance agent, notary, corporate trainer and real estate investor. She is committed to continuous learning and constant growth.

Merchon is currently serving on the Code of Conduct and African American Achievement committees. She became involved in the district after founding Pioneering Change, Inc. in March of 2017. Pioneering Change, Inc. was created to positively influence the climate of the Gifford community and surrounding areas. Pioneering Change is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community action organization whose mission is “To foster innovative exchange, cultural, education, civic and policy programs that advance four goals:

  • Unification
  • Self Sufficiency
  • Resolution to issues plaguing the community
  • Creation of future leaders

Pioneering Change’s vision is “to create a more secure and prosperous world where every citizen contributes positively to their community.”

Merchon is running for a seat on the IRC School Board to provide a voice for change and to refocus the Board’s efforts on our children’s welfare and academic needs. She believes the School Board needs leadership that seeks to create engaging and empowering academic environments for the students it serves, ensures true transparency in its policy development and decision-making, and enables the teachers charged with educating our children by providing them the training and resources needed as they shape our leaders of tomorrow. Merchon is also a strong advocate for promoting tolerance within our community and ensuring the board represents the interests of ALL students.

Merchon understands that success of the Indian River County School District begins with a strong community, world-class education, and fiscal responsibility. As your Indian River County School District 2 representative, she will work to increase community engagement while efficiently utilizing your tax dollars and resources to retain quality teachers and ensure that each one of our students has access to the educational opportunities, resources, and the support they need to reach their ultimate potential.

Under Merchon's leadership, not only will our students graduate, but they will go on to be successful in college, trade schools and/or jobs that allow them to be positive contributors to society. This will decrease the school to prison pipeline flow, increase self-sufficiency, and lessen the burden on taxpayers. Thus, her educational plan will truly fulfill Indian River County School District's vision of "educating and inspiring every student to be successful," as well as Pioneering Change's vision of "creating a more secure and prosperous world where every citizen contributes positively to their community."

Merchon is committed to fighting for better Indian River County. It is time you elect her to fight for all Indian River County students as the School Board Representative for District 2!

A vote for Merchon Green is a vote for a Pioneer for POSITIVE change!

My Priorities

 

What Will Merchon Do as a School Board Member?

Work to Reduce the Achievement and Access Gaps.

Educational success should not be influenced by race, class, disability status, neighborhood, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The school board must focus on policies and programs which enhance the cultural competency and diversity of staff, deliver comprehensive and tiered support for students, engage families and community, and prepare our young people to be successful 21st-century citizens. Education equity can't fall victim to politics or become an overwhelming challenge which leads to inaction.

As a board member, I will:

  • Work with fellow Board members to create a county-wide shared vision and set goals for how the district improves student achievement;
  • Create positive working conditions and direct the resources for accelerating improvement. My first initiative will be to reduce the amount of testing occurring in the classrooms. I will advocate to eliminate the district mandated testing and allow teachers to teach. Tallahassee places enough pressure on our students and teachers. It’s time we allow students to learn and retain information without the pressures of repeated testing;
  • Hold the school district accountable to high and equitable achievement for all students. Currently, our district aims to meet the state average which is usually in the lower 50%. A 50% is an F. We must increase our expectation of our faculty, staff and students while also giving them the necessary support to thrive. Florida is ranked #30 in the nation for education, so to aim to be average in a state that trails in the nation is a disservice to our students;
  • Communicate needs and progress of students to the community. This communication will strengthen the relationship between the community, our school district and our board. It will also put the community on notice that their assistance is welcomed and needed;
  • Build the public will to improve achievement for all students and succeed in reaching the district’s student achievement goals.
  • Assist with identifying effective strategies our schools can implement with attainable results, and then ensure our district’s talented and dedicated staff have the resources needed to implement those strategies to fidelity.

Work to Improve School Climate and Culture with Teachers, Parents, Support Staff, Administrators and the Community.

Communication is key to student success.  Open dialogue and transparency between teachers, support staff, parents and community, the Administration and the School Board are essential. I will work to establish a culture of transparency and connectivity by creating an environment of sharing around the success and struggles of educating and learning.  We must establish a collaborative culture, that’s relationship based, open and communicative.  Removing the mystery of what happens within the district and the board can help everyone understand why the District and/or Board does what it does.

In addition, our District needs to improve the relationship between administrators and teachers, which (in some schools) is strained. The many forces of negativity from the outside (especially Tallahassee) adds stress to our schools. As much as the teachers try to insulate our students, they feel it too. A pressure cooker is not an environment that nurtures learning nor is it a satisfactory place for professionals to work.

We must work to find more ways to release that pressure, improve the culture inside our schools, retain great teachers and bring out the innate love of learning that exists inside every student. If we create a positive environment where teachers love teaching, students will love learning. A positive learning environment is a thriving learning environment.

We must also acknowledge and show appreciation for our support staff. Our support staff are the employees that work behind the scenes to ensure our schools function properly. Like our teachers, our support staff is unappreciated and underpaid. It’s time we change the climate in our district and appreciate those who assist with helping our students succeed.

As a School Board member, I will:

  • Advocate for a positive learning environment. The Board does not create learning. Rather, they work through others by creating conditions that promote learning. I will continually advocate for a positive teaching and learning environment;
  • Advocate for distributed leadership in our district. It is important that all stakeholders feel valued and know their voice is mattered in the decision process, especially our teachers. Our teachers are in the classroom with our students, they know firsthand of the challenges and struggles our students face. We must include them in leadership decisions and the functionality of our district;
  • Support teachers and support staff in communicating with the Administration and Board without fear of retaliation;
  • Strengthen the voice of parents, students, teachers, support staff and the community by creating more opportunities for collaboration, input and participation.
  • Strengthen the relationship between the unions and the Board;
  • Establish advisory groups for support staff, teachers, parents, students, community members, administration and non-union staff. I will meet with those groups periodically to stay informed and connected to those I represent. It is important that board members are not only aware of issues and concerns of stakeholders, but also accessible.;

Work to Ensure that our Students Receive an Innovative, World-Class Education and Training that Prepares Them for a Successful Life After Graduation.

Our graduating students will become the foundation of our state’s workforce, so our School District’s success is directly tied to supporting our state’s economy.  Supporting student success either through career, technical and vocational training; post-high-school education; or on-the-job-training opportunities, will best prepare students for Florida’s workforce and support our state’s economy.

Currently our district boasts an 85% graduation rate, yet less than 50% of those students can read on grade level. So what exactly is our district preparing students for? What jobs will be available to them? What educational opportunities will they receive? It is time that we prepare students for life after graduation. Not every one will go to college. Some students will get a trade while others will enter the work force immediately. Whatever route our students decide to take, we must ensure that they are put in a position to exceed.

Research has shown that districts with higher levels of student achievement show a clear alignment of the board, district and schools’ efforts in support of non-negotiable goals. Those districts also have higher student success after graduation. In joining the school board, I will become a part of a team whose shared responsibility is to make sure every student reaches their full potential. In working toward this crucial goal, I will:

  • Advocate for setting county goals for student success and keep our district focused on student learning. These goals would be independent of the strategic plan set by the District. However, they will be parallel to that plan and would specify specific measurable criteria. It would be the Board’s report card for the district graded solely on the evidence;
  • Advocate for partnerships and programs that afford career, technical, vocational and life skills training opportunities for our students;
  • Monitor and ensure that progress is being made toward achieving educational goals and that a process is in place to achieve those goals.
  • Advocate for a STEAM-infused curriculum and for the District to take advantage of the massive number of grants available to our county.
    • Both private and public sectors report that 21st-century workers require skills that many of today’s graduates don’t have. Students need more in-depth knowledge of math and science, plus the ability to integrate and apply that knowledge to solve challenges facing our nation.
    • Students who study STEM also develop a variety of skills that are essential for success: critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, to name a few.
    • Adding the Arts to STEM takes it a step further. Research has shown that engaging students’ strengths using art activities increases motivation and the probability of STEM success.

Advocate for our Schools to not Only Be Physically Safe, but Mentally and Emotionally Safe, as well.

Students and teachers must have a safe learning environment. We need to consider emotional, mental and physical safety as well as the school building and its infrastructure. Schools should be managed to be free from all forms of bullying, and that takes good administrative leadership. We should deploy effective security measures and protocol at every school, including security technology that prevents harm from natural, physical and social events that might threaten the school and community.

As your District 2 School Board Member, I will:

  • Advocate for the School District to provide more resources for the mental health of our students, and that includes an increase in Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). The number of LMHC deployed should match the number of school resource officers deployed in our district. Currently, we only have 13 (total) full and part-time school psychologists for 22 schools. We need a licensed school psychologist for each school. We must have counselors in place to intervene and get to the root cause of issues so that situations do not escalate to active shooter incidents. Here are a few statistics to ponder regarding mental illness:
    • In 2015, the most recent year for which mortality data is available, suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death for children 10 to 17 years of age.
    • According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, 1 in 5 students experience some sort of mental health problem during their school years.
    • An estimated 60% of students do not receive the mental health treatment they need due to stigma and lack of access to services.
    • The National Association of School Psychologists states research has shown that students are more likely to seek counseling when services are available in schools.
  • Advocate for enhancing and expanding services for students and families in response to their need by assisting with identifying opportunities to align programming within our schools; and
  • Advocate for partnerships with community experts to streamline access to supportive services (e.g. mental health services, mentoring programs). It is necessary to ensure students’ well-being to successfully engage them in powerful learning.

Being a Prudent Board Member by Voting Based on Evidence and Results; Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility; and Ensuring our Tax Dollars are Used to Hire, Train and Retain Quality Teachers While Providing our Students with a World-Class Education that Prepares Them for Life After Graduation.

School board members are "trustees." As a body, they have been "entrusted" by their community with the resources the community has at its disposal for the education of its children. They are expected, as a corporate body, to ensure that those resources are used wisely, efficiently and effectively for the future of the community's citizens.

A board cannot exercise responsible stewardship of district resources unless it has a clear idea of what it wants to accomplish with and through those resources. Without that clear idea of priorities and a clear picture of what the board wants the district to accomplish in using its resources, the board has no basis for knowing if those resources are being expended wisely and efficiently.

Also, a board must be knowledgeable in various areas that not only require a vote but are necessary parts of a functioning school district. The main goal of a school board is to make decisions in the best interests of all the students in the district. In order to for the board to know it’s making the best decision, it must be informed on the subject matter being discussed and/or voted on.

For the past year and a half, I have attended board meetings. I have studied the budget. I have researched other counties, particularly the top ranked counties in Florida. I have studied their district composition and compared their composition and their budget to ours. I have also reviewed their FSA scores and their academic programs and compared them to ours. I have also researched grants available to us. After doing this research, I quickly learned that we are not being fiscally responsible with our tax dollars. We are not applying to grants available to us. Also, we are not making decisions based on the evidence. My research and analysis has exposed areas that we can cut back on spending, give both our teachers and support staff a raise and would still have a budget a few million lower than our current budget.

As your District 2 School Board member, I will:

  • Do the necessary independent research and request information from the administration so that I am informed on topics before me;
  • Work with fellow Board members to create a clearly defined and clearly articulated vision and priorities that structure the allotment of resources within our district. Then, share that vision and priorities with our stakeholders;
  • Stay abreast of the financial expenditures in our county. Research the services and companies we are contracting to ensure we are getting the best use for dollars;
  • Research top ranked counties: their budget and expenditures, their FSA scores, their programs, policies and instructional support, as well as, their district structure. Then, use their data as a reference for areas we can improve on;
  • Ask questions about the long-term implications of the financial decisions before me, so that they do not inadvertently have an adverse impact on district finances in the future;
  • Encourage the hiring of local companies for district contracts, as well, as hiring local residents for district positions which would stimulate our local economy.

Volunteer

Let’s make our schools the best in the state/country by helping me get elected for Indian River County School Board, District 2.



Helping Build/Deliver Signs

Making Calls
Hosting an Event (Meet & Greet)
Canvassing
Sending campaign emails and communications





Contact Merchon

 

You can contact Merchon at:
P.O. Box 911
Vero Beach, FL 32961
PH: 772.226.0036
Twitter: @votemerchong

 

 

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