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Candace Jusino

Learn more about Candace's stances below.

  • Candace Jusino

  • About Candace

  • New Castle
  • Appoquinimink School District
  • At Large
  • Hi, I’m Candace Jusino. I am a working mom & wife. I love my two daughters, my husband, and my family and try to be the best for them everyday.
    I’m running to become an Appoquinimink School Board Member to amplify the voices of students, parents & educators. To advocate for the education of all children of the district while remaining fiscally responsible as I learned as a young mom how to take a little and make it a lot. From my own difficult experiences and those of my family, friends, and other connections in our school district, I know how tough it can be to raise children struggling with issues like anxiety, depression, and learning differences. I want to help all children make and achieve their educational goals by advocating to create and maintain programs that can reach all of our children.
    I am a bilingual Afro-Latina daughter of educators. My mother was a 7th grade Bilingual-Ed teacher, my father taught Phys Ed and advocated for the inclusion of African American history in his school’s curriculum. Growing up, dinner topics included discussions on strategies to provide children with learning disabilities and low-income backgrounds with comprehensive educational opportunities and provide the skills needed to understand how to take advantage of them.
    My husband and I have lived in Middletown for almost 8 years. We have a 24 year old daughter who graduated last year from the University of Delaware and has just started an exciting new job in healthcare in her field of Neuroscience, a testament to the importance of a strong STEM education and the opportunities it offers. We also have a 14 year old 8th grader here in Middletown at Alfred G. Waters Middle School.
    My career started in the financial and legal industries, but for the past ten years I’ve been involved with the non-profit Public Allies of Delaware, first joining their program as an Ally where I learned how to mobilize community assets to develop solutions to local challenges, then joining their staff as a Program Coordinator and now also as a Recruiter. In my role I recruit and train talented emerging leaders who have a passion for social impact so we can work together to create meaningful change in our community.

  • Candidate Questions

  • Equity is an essential component of social justice. Some opportunities, resources, and privileges haven’t always been accessible to everyone due to identities such as race, gender, sex, ethnicity, and economic status. So when I think of equity I want to ensure that we address historic inequalities and barriers that the folks aforementioned faced. This way we can ensure that everyone has a fair chance to flourish and reach their full potential.

  • Let’s get the community involved in the process of decision-making about how resources can be distributed across the school district and also involved in the decisions that are made in our financials. One way we could do it. This is by leveraging the current district committees such as the Financial Advisory Committee or the Success for All Committee. Periodically the board can encourage folks who have expertise in these areas or are directly impacted to volunteer on these committees. We can even encourage volunteers from local financial centers in our are to provide training to those in the committee and the board. Our community is full of amazing talents within its people.

  • It takes a multi-faceted approach to ensure a inclusive school culture, and although I could list many steps, I want to drill down the 3 areas at a high level I would focus on:
    1. Who We Are – As a district, we cannot ensure an inclusive school culture until we can look at where we are currently on inclusivity -as of today- and where historically the culture comes from. And look at it in an honest and solutions-focused way. What is measured can be managed. This means looking at data and looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. And if we see data that shows that Black, Brown, and economically disadvantaged students are disproportionately disciplined, let’s not explain it away. Let’s face the data without going the defensive route, but rather, with an open heart and a willingness to do better. Start by hearing the details of these events directly from students and parents and look for trends in the narratives we hear. Ask ourselves how we could improve. Ask students what could have helped in those tough moments. Then begin to implement strategies of support first before disciplinary actions as a first step.
    2. What We Teach – As a district our curriculum for our students as well as the professional development of teachers and staff can provide training that is culturally inclusive as well as reflective. If we can’t face our own unconscious bias, it is harder to improve the culture of our students. Encourage students to share family stories of perseverance. And continue by thinking about what we have right in our backyard, the local history of the Underground Railroad right in the MOT area, and showing and connecting it to the current day. Also looking into community institutions such as local universities & public resources on our collective diversity of culture makes us amazing.
    3. How We Support – Students who are in this situation often do not have all the resources necessary to get them through the day. Having an adult who can empathically listen to students about their struggles before they escalate is crucial. Teachers need our support as well; they teach while carrying the emotionality of students every day. Teachers need a space to be supported and be given culturally competent strategies to defuse situations for all types of student personalities. Encourage and provide space for experienced teachers to mentor newer teachers in areas such as classroom management and conflict resolution. Formal discipline isn’t always the first step.

  • As a parent, I know how important consistency is for children and teens for a safe and healthy environment. Establishing clear expectations for behavior and consequences to ensure that students, parents, and teachers understand the expectations and the reasons behind them. Consistently advise students and enforce expectations fairly and equitably, but not without considering the root causes or context of each situation. Training for teachers, administrators, staff, and students in restorative practices. This includes conflict resolution skills, empathy building, and restorative justice principles. When conflicts arise, instead of punitive measures, focus on facilitating dialogue and repairing harm.
    Offer conflict resolution and mediation workshops for students who want to be certified to help their peers in a structured mediation session. And provide extra support and interventions for students who exhibit challenging behaviors. This can include counseling, mentorship programs, and access to mental health resources. Addressing underlying issues such as trauma, stress, or social-emotional difficulties can help prevent future incidents.

  • Yes. Curiosity can fuel a natural desire to learn and read. If we close off viewpoints from our students, how will they learn the diversity of thought, critical thinking skills, and media literacy so they can effectively discern fact from opinion? Only if they are exposed to many types of viewpoints.

  • Yes, I do support this statement for several reasons.
    1. When students feel accepted for who they are, they perform better academically, and it creates a safe learning environment. They are more likely to feel safe expressing themselves, participating in classroom activities, and engaging in the learning process.
    2. Discrimination and exclusion can have detrimental effects on students' mental health and well-being. An inclusive environment can reduce the risk of social isolation, bullying, and mental health issues promoting positive mental health outcomes for all.
    3. Our workforce and lives have become increasingly more diverse in every way. To be a successful student and later a professional, we must prepare our students to interact with and consider all types of backgrounds. By promoting inclusivity in schools, educators help prepare students to navigate a multicultural world and become responsible, compassionate members of society.

  • Yes. Again, as stated earlier, all students have the right to a safe and supportive learning environment. This is essential for students to feel safe enough to learn. We can make it clear that all students are not to be discriminated against regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Safety begins with protection from harassment and bullying and training for staff on recognizing and responding to LGBTQ+ related harassment, as well as support services for students who experience bullying.

  • Bring in community and nonprofit partnerships that provide training on evidence-based culturally competent prevention programs that promote empathy, respect, and inclusion can reduce bullying. The learning must be a social-emotional learning curriculum, diversity and inclusion training for staff and students, with peer mentoring initiatives.

  • Create trust and rapport with families in a genuine way. Recently, many families have lost trust in large institutions (i.e. schools, government). We must work on building trust by showing that their voice is valued. When we offer special programming, resources, or opportunities, we follow up with communication on decisions made, how it will be implemented, and the background of why and how.
    When we offer opportunities for families to participate in the process, casting a wide net for recruiting families to be part of councils or capturing their voices where they are, in an accessible. Including email, text lines for questions, comprehensive FAQs, and social media platforms that are managed with real-time information and access to direct messaging. Ensure that communication materials are available in multiple languages and formats to reach families with diverse literacy backgrounds.

  • Yes, we can always benefit from having an increase in diversity. By including many different backgrounds, thought processes, and experiences in every link we increase the strength of the entire chain.

  • Multi-faceted approach, with the following:
    Implement a routine schedule for testing the water in all our schools to identify sources of lead. All water sources such as drinking fountains, bathroom & kitchen sinks, and any other water outlets used for consumption or food prep.
    Repair and/or replace any identified infrastructure that causes lead contamination.
    Educate staff, teachers, families, and students on routines for lead testing. In the efforts to create awareness of water safety. Create a system for water source labeling similar to fire extinguisher labeling of the last tested date.
    Partner with STEM school programs in learning how to test and label water sources.

  • Partnering with local businesses to ensure that all students are provided enhanced educational opportunities. For these partnerships to work they must have full transparency of programming and provide access to all. Here are some ways schools can collaborate with businesses:
    1. Corporate Sponsorships: Seek corporate sponsorships from local businesses to provide financial support for specific programs, initiatives, or events within the school district. This could include sponsoring extracurricular activities, field trips, sports teams, arts programs, or STEM initiatives.
    2. In-Kind Donations: Encourage local businesses to donate goods, services, or equipment that can benefit schools and students. This could include donations of books, computers, software, lab equipment, musical instruments, or athletic gear.

Candidates listed below have yet to respond

Brandywine

Jason Heller (District G)

Colonial

Robin Crossan (District G)

Caesar Rodney

Jessica Marelli (At Large)

Lake Forest

David W. Mazur (At Large)

Sarah R. Starkey (At Large)

Milford

Jennifer Massotti (District B)

Smyrna

Christopher T. Scuse (At Large)

Cape Henlopen

Alison J. Myers (At Large)

Janet E. Maull-Martin (District C)

Delmar

Russell R. Smart (At Large)

Dawn M. Turner (At Large)

Indian River

Lisa Hudson Briggs (District 1)

Kelly Kline (District 1)

Mark L. Steele (District 3)

Joshua W. Hudson (District 4)

Anita West-Werner (District 4)

Derek E. Cathell (District 5)

Kim Law Taylor (District 5)

Laurel

Kim Ralph (At Large)

Seaford

Dara Laws Savage (At Large)

Woodbridge

John Campbell (At Large)

Brian Swain (At Large)