Michelle Corkadel

Michelle Corkadel
  • Non-Partisan
  • Age: 49
  • Residence: Edgewater

About Michelle Corkadel

Education

Studied Political Science at Penn State University

Background

Current Employment: Constituent Services Officer, Anne Arundel County. Representing the Southern and Western Portions of Anne Arundel County for County Executive . Primary duties include constituent services; broadcast tv talent for Week In Review; representation for the following boards and commissions: Crownsville Hospital State Task Force, Weed Warriors, Bee City USA, Agriculture and Agritourism Commission, Police Community Relations Council, South County Bridges to a Drug Free Community, Laurel Racetrack Impact Fee Committee, and several workgroups for policy and legislative review. Past Employment: Owner of small consulting firm specializing in operations and development services.

Questionnaire

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1
Teacher raises
The Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County continues to advocate for a return of step increases given up during the 2008 recession. Should the Board of Education fund these increases?
Corkadel: About a decade ago, our County faced a large fiscal challenge. This recession dynamically changed the compensation of our teachers. Salaries became stagnated as our teachers sacrificed their own families financial stability to keep our schools open and our students receiving good quality education. The recession is now over. We must recognize that our teachers are our most important classroom resource. Our mutual goal must be to invest in our teachers’ compensation. The County has been willing to work with AACPS on pressing issues such as stabilizing the pension fund and health insurance. We must now come together to better compensate our teachers as well as provide a more competitive compensation package to ensure we are able to not just retain the educators we have, but hire more teachers to reduce our student to teacher ratios in our classrooms. We have decided to make an investment in new schools to reduce school population sizes; we must approach classroom sizes with the same vigor and intent.
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2
School security
The county has committed to additional funding for school security. How do you want to see this money spent?
Corkadel: Here is an opportunity to make changes now to mitigate the deficiencies that exist and simultaneously work towards a larger, enterprise level solution. Several categories of change should be instituted. Although the subcategories are many, I would like to cite a few examples: 1. Facility changes: Modern, double entry door systems and a reassessment of secondary ingress and egress points. Re-evaluate travel points between public entrances and the security check in point 2. SoftwareTechnology: There are apps recently released that can create a school community group that allows anyone to report an intruder or active shooter as it occurs and will automatically notify public safety, locate that person no matter where they are on campus and then alert the larger school community so everyone can take immediate action. 3. Hardware Technology: New monitoring and other integrated notification system devises. Upgrade our wi-fi and cellular coverage in the schools so communication can be instant and efficient. 4. Prevention and response training. Everyone should be equipped to respond to an incident 5. Mental Health Investment: Additional staff and access to continuing education for our teachers on this critical issue. 6. Public safety investments: Our County Council each year limits the # of police and mobile crisis we can add to the force in the interest of other budget priorities, SROs and our mobile crisis team needs more personnel and training resources. Our regular police force needs adequately staffed, as they are just as important to security.
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3
Bullying
Parents have complained to the current board about bullying at schools. How do you feel the board should address this issue?
Corkadel: Bullying has been and continues to be a challenge for schools across the nation. Bullying is targeted mental and sometimes physical abuse of another person. Almost all children who bully are externalizing their own insecurities and are often unable to cope with negative emotions. They are in need of mental health services At the same time, one in every 20 families face extreme challenges coping with opiod addiction of a loved one. That means at least one student in each classroom goes home to addiction. There is a connection. Bullying can be responded to when it occurs and we must always be evaluating our policies of conduct to ensure we have ample restitution to the victim and correction measures that hopefully discourage future bullying behavior. That is not enough. We must work to prevent it from occuring in the first place. The first step is to create a healthy environment for our students. Mental health is just as relevant to our students health as their physical well being. As one of the moderators and team member of the Not My Child Opiod Prevention Team, I have been in our schools, churches, community centers and businesses, sharing information and strategies with an ultimate goal of No New Users. What that experience has taught me is we do not have adequate mental health services in our schools. School mental health resources are underfunded. The state and feds need to make this a priority, as the County cannot fund this challenge alone.
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