School Board Candidate Chemise Stancle Looks to Bring Conservative Sensibility to Norman Schools
By Shane Smith
She considers herself conservative, but also sees her idea of school as more of an apolitical, common-sense approach.
by Shane Smith
Norman Public Schools (NPS) school board candidate Chemise Stancle has a deeply-rooted passion for helping others. Whether in her church and community, compassion and public service is an integral part of her DNA. I recently caught up with Chemise on the campaign trail to find out more about her, and the motivation behind her decision to run for the Norman school board.
“I took a faith in politics class at my church,” Chemise tells me. “Along with the work I do with students as a mentor and leader in Oklahoma City, I wanted to get involved in local politics and influence young people where I live. School board seemed the perfect combo!”
Coming from a background that includes mentoring young women in foster care, volunteering as a youth leader at her Oklahoma City church, and serving in a class for special needs children, Chemise sees her candidacy as a natural next step.
Beyond her experience in serving her community, Chemise also shared other aspects of her life that have shaped who she is.
“I am a mother of a beautiful Daughter, Dylan, a licensed cosmetologist and small business owner for 20 years, and a University of Oklahoma graduate. I’m a loyal friend and sister and love to do anything and everything to encourage others around me to be all God has called them to be.”
As a mother of an NPS student, Chemise believes that parents should be more involved in their children’s education, and that it should be seen as an extension of community engagement.
“What I hope to bring to the school board is a bridging of the community and the administration, board members, teachers and staff. I definitely believe as parents we should be present and involved with our students education. That’s the whole reason I’m running! I want to learn, influence and be a part of the process not just a spectator. I want to be an example of a parent taking ownership in the rights we have in our Nation to have a say, and make a difference.”
I then asked her what she believed to be the biggest issues for voters that she’s spoken to.
“From former teachers and voters some of the issues are the hostile political atmosphere and division it’s causing. This should not be something students need to battle while attending school. Students learning the basics in education – reading, math, writing, history – and how to use this to become contributing members of society. Skills for trade school, handling finances, learning basics of household responsibilities, buying/renting a house. Even cooking has come up! Dress code and cell phone use and classroom distraction and control are things that I hear repeated frequently from current and former teachers.”
There are several issues that Chemise believes need correcting at NPS, but it all comes down to the culture that is cultivated on campus. What are some of the problems that she would like to see corrected?
“Misconceptions. All around: race, gender, social economic background, division. We can be united in wanting what’s best for our students no matter our differences! Safety and discipline in schools. What I’ve seen in students, not just our schools but in general is a rise in disrespect and disregard for authority. When this happens students don’t feel safe. I’ve learned that adolescents want order, rules to follow (or break haha) there is safety in that. An example is I’m very much a rule follower. I am a youth leader at my church and when we go to camp for a week the girls that are in my charge fuss and complain about how I’m such a stickler about the rules the camp has made for their protection. But those same girls are always asking if I’m going to camp the following year and wanting me to be their leader. Let’s make sure everything we do is for the individual student! How can I make sure each student feels valued and important standing on their own. Meaning if they were the only student on campus would they feel like school was a benefit to who they are!”
Ms. Stancle also possesses that vanishingly rare gift for communication and public speaking. Her positive outlook is infectious, as can be attested by everyone that has the opportunity to meet her. She considers herself conservative, but also sees her idea of school as more of an apolitical, common-sense approach.
She also doesn’t see herself as running against an opponent, but running for her ideas and her vision. “I don’t even think about it like that. I’m running for what I believe I can bring to NPS, I don’t see it as running against or trying to beat anyone.”
I posed one last question: what do you see as your long-term contributions as a member of the NPS school board? “I want to create and sustain a safe, positive learning environment where kids actually learn! I want to leave a legacy of kindness and trust.”
Norman residents in District 2 can cast their vote for Chemise on February 8th.
Shane Smith is a pro-liberty writer based in Norman, Oklahoma. He blogs at: RepublicReborn.com, and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org