Re-Elect Heather Scott

Wake County Board of Education - District 1

There’s More Than Corn In Indiana

I was born in Portage, Indiana where I graduated from high school in 1993. A National Honor Society Member, I enjoyed participating in many different activities including speech team, marching band, jazz band, orchestra, concert band, theatrical productions, and intramural sports. I attended Indiana University-Bloomington where I majored in Music Education and Saxophone. While at Indiana University, I enjoyed being active in the Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity, Marching Hundred, jazz band, concert band and intramural sports. I also greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow students from all over the world. I graduated Indiana Unversity inspired to make a difference in the lives of my students as a music teacher.

A Teacher Is Born

After graduating from Indiana University, I accepted a teaching position in Greensburg Community Schools as an instrumental and general music teacher. I taught beginning band, middle school band, middle school jazz band, and general music. Greensburg is a small, rural community about one hour southeast of Indianapolis, and I had students who lived in affluent neighborhoods as well as students who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods. Some of my students were from families where both parents had graduate degrees, while some were from families where no one had yet graduated from high school. Growing up rather sheltered, it was my first time working closely with impoverished and, in some cases, neglected children. I will never forget a student who had been known as “passive-resistant” to participate in school at all. No one had graduated high school in his family. Using differentiated instruction to attempt to reach him in my general music classroom, one day he raised his hand to answer a question. I knew that was likely the first time he had ever offered an answer in a class. It changed my life forever, because I was committed to making every effort to reach all students.

 

After two years teaching in Greensburg, I had the opportunity to join a fantastic music program in San Diego County that was starting over after several years hiatus. The San Dieguito Unified High School District had extremely wealthy families, from the shores of the ocean to modest housing where many families had recently migrated to the United States. I enjoyed teaching band and choir at two middle schools and a high school - but it was also eye-opening to the extreme budget restrictions. Traveling between three schools each day, finding creative ways to work around limited fundraising opportunities - all while living as a rent-burdened teacher with a long commute proved to be a challenge. Ultimately, I realized I missed my family and returned to Indiana.

 

Back in Indiana, I accepted a position as an optician in an regional chain eyeglass store - thinking I would take some time to work outside of education before settling down again in a teaching position. I was quickly promoted to store manager at a different location and eventually promoted to a regional sales position at the corporate level. As proud as I was of my successes, something was missing: teaching. After two years in the optical industry, I decided to return to teaching and applied for a music teacher position at Bishop Noll Institute - a private 7-12 Catholic school in Hammond, Indiana.

From Indiana to North Carolina

Bishop Noll Institute was unique in that the principal made it clear he wanted to see the then-defunct music program thrive once again. The school was a lengthy commute for me, nestled within an industrial/urban setting. Student enrollment was a struggle. I wasn’t just a music teacher - I was also expected to teach health, speech, and freshman seminar. I also waited tables on the weekends to make ends meet. The student population was ethnically and socioeconomically diverse. The music program grew from 12 choir students to over 50 students my last year. We grew from six dedicated band members to having enough students to march in a 4th of July parade. After four wonderful years with an amazing team and principal, I left Bishop Noll Institute beacuse I fell in love with my now-husband, got married, and moved to join him where he had lived for years: North Carolina.

 

I interviewed with a brand-new charter school in Raleigh before moving out, and they hired me! I honestly didn’t know much about charter schools from personal experience, but I was a firm believer in school choice after having taught at public and parochial schools. Charter schools - in 2008 - were new to North Carolina, heavily regulated/monitored, and could not be managed by a for-profit management corporation. I loved my teaching position at Endeavor Charter School, despite the challenges of teaching music “on a cart” in their temporary building, but I resigned several months after my first child was born. I had hoped to be a working mother and continue in my career, but we struggled to find consistent childcare. I felt quite broken-hearted when I resigned my position and became a stay-at-home parent. I was certainly thankful we could financially support a family with just one full-time working parent, but my heart was missing something again: teaching. I quickly found (very)part-time work teaching Kindermusik and Pre-K music, along with private lessons, but it wasn’t quite the same as the classroom experience.

It’s a Family Affair

I now have two amazing children who are thriving within WCPSS at a magnet school with a fine arts/GT emphasis near downtown Raleigh. I have enjoyed substitute teaching in various schools throughout Wake County, both private and public. Even though my oldest child is doing well, he also has unique needs addressed with an IEP to assure equal access to educational opportunities. The process for applying for individualized instruction can be extraordinarily challenging. As parents, we are grateful to have developed friendships with fellow parents whose children also have unique educational needs. As community members, we have learned that many parents don’t feel there is a place for their child in the WCPSS. I want to change that. As a mother, I strive to continue the fight I knew needed conquering early in my own career: equal access to a high-quality education for all.

I have been working hard for the families and schools in District 1 since December of 2018 and I ask for your continued support.

Swearing-In, December 2018

Since Being Elected

After being sworn into office in December of 2018, I reached out to every principal in the 28 schools in District 1 and took the time to visit each school, understanding the importance of getting to know the communities inside the schools and the areas around them. I also greatly value the relationship between the WCPSS and the municipalities, and developed relationships with the Mayors and many town commissioners and council members to listen to their concerns and learn more about their ideas. It has been extremely important to me to let the communities know that I am invested in helping their schools. I have attended concerts, curriculum nights, PTA meetings, booster club meetings, and hosted Community Chats throughout District 1. I also received the Knightdale Mayor’s Award for Commitment to Community in December of 2019.

On the Board, I am currently the Chair for the Student Achievement Committee and serve on the Finance Committee, as well as serving on the facility committee last year. I have taken the many conversations I’ve had with teachers, parents, and principals and advocated for intentional change. Those in Wake Forest know about the successful Academy for Construction and Design Career at Wake Forest HS and the Institute of Agribusiness Leaders at Heritage High School. East Wake High School just launched their new Academy of Life Sciences, and I am excited to see students achieve similar successes.

I am looking forward to the successes from intentional changes to our reading curriculum in grades K-2 that have started this past year. I am also proud of the new PRIMP program - partial renovation and improvement to address facility concerns by reallocating existing funds with the Capital Improvement Plan, without a need to request new funding. We do have aging facilities in Eastern and northeastern wake that don’t yet qualify for a complete renovation and I have advocated for them consistently, so I am very excited about this program.

Covid-19 has certainly interrupted the strong momentum that I started in December of 2018, but it has not stopped it. I’ve worked hard to continue to reach out to schools, speak with concerned parents and employees, and finalize a phased in return to our buildings that’s starting this month. I am proud of the work I have started, I love these schools and communities with every ounce of my heart and soul, and I do ask for your vote. 

Heather, Derek, Alex, Madeleine, and Brinkley