Running for Seat 5 on the Madison Board of Education
Ananda Mirelli wants to build school communities across Madison. “When people feel a sense of belonging and part of community, they will protect and honor that community,” Mirelli said. “They will have high regard for it and work to protect it. That's the core of the campaign, we are highlighting the community of young people and adults.”
Community, for Mirelli, is what drives her ideas on school programming.
“The collaborative nature of [my] campaign with Ali Muldrow speaks to that. No one member of the board, no one staff member can do this work. The district alone will not be able work collaboratively with city and county resource to address comprehensively multiple in-school and out-of-school programs. [Muldrow and I] exemplify collaboration: no one member can accomplish what we need to.”
To address academic achievement Mirelli wants to embrace a holistic approach that starts with promoting the mental health of every student.
“We need to value every student that comes into our building,” Mirelli said. “We need to focus on the buildings of our students and our teachers. We need to understand better all the reasons students are leaving. Sometimes students leave schools or districts because they are not getting their services. That means academic, special needs or advanced need, so if they have specific service needs, or not, we are still responsible to make sure we are addressing those.”
Addressing school safety, according to Mirelli, starts with supporting students. “Investing in counselors, social workers and staff who can address needs of students and support students and families can improve morale in the building and improve community in the building,” Mirelli said. “When people feel a greater sense of community and belonging they are less likely to engage in disruptive behavior because they value that community. We are looking at students who need wrap around support and whose teachers and staff also have that support.”