Chao Wu BOE Farewell Speech
It has been my great honor and pleasure to serve on the Howard County Board of Education since 2018. I enjoyed the past four years’ experience, along with my colleagues on the board, the superintendent and school staff, working together for our students, teachers, staff and parents.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my family, my wife, my daughter, and my son. They have shouldered the burdens because of my public service. It is indeed very challenging to serve on BOE while having another professional job with two young children.
I would like to thank many community members for your support along the way, and for your continued support to the future.
We have achieved a lot during the last four years:
- eliminated more than 50 million dollars’ health fund deficit,
- Keep fighting for better APFO and revealed problems in the currently used, decade-long allocation formula, and proposed a new formula,
- Finished redistricting twice and helped relieve school overcrowding,
- constructed and renovated three schools and purchased and negotiated two new school sites
- supported and upheld school safety, and maintained safe operations,
- reoriented greater support for reading proficiency, dyslexia intervention, and continuous support for special education,
- expanded high school career academy to more than 20 programs,
- improved high school graduation rate to 94% in 2021, which exceeds the Maryland average of 87% and the highest rate since 2011,
- Working on a concrete plan to start high school later in 2023,
- reformed board operations to be more efficient and effective,
- listened to students, teachers, parents and communities, and appreciated their inputs all the time.
There are some other issues that I wanted to address and have not finished them:
- Improve the lunch time for our students and add more recess time. I don’t think 10:30 am is a good time for lunch. I believe more recess time will improve the learning efficiency and student mental health.
- Address staff shortage and diversify staff and leadership team.
- Improve reading proficiency.
- Find innovative ways to serve special education, through collaboration with other school systems and stakeholders.
- Have a robust remote learning channel for students who are in need.
I hope the next board will work together, keep an open mind, find solutions for the most general populations and tailored solutions for specificity, and be practical and visionary.
What lies in front of us is full of challenges and opportunities. Through collaboration and teamwork, I believe HCPSS will continue the path to provide quality education to all students.
I wholeheartedly thank the voters for your trust and for giving me the opportunity to serve you.
Thank you. 谢谢。