2018 Maryland election results

Cheryl E. Pasteur

Cheryl E. Pasteur
  • Non-Partisan
  • Age: 69
  • Residence: Pikesville

About Cheryl E. Pasteur


B.A., English Education, University of MD, College Park M.S., Education, Morgan State University Administration/Supervision Certification, Loyola University Theater Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh


English/Theater teacher ( Balto. City and County) English chair (Balto. County) Asst. Principal and Principal ( Balto. County) Specialist, Equity Office ( Balto. County) F.B.I. Agent


    Jump to:
    Why do you want to serve on the county school board?
    Pasteur: The BOE is a major organ of the BCPS, impacting on the system’s collective team, advocating for the education and safety of children, staff, and faculty in Baltimore County Schools! I want to serve as a part of that team. I want to be able to support: funding for our students/schools ; funding to train teachers; funding to retain and financially support faculty and staff programs; programs to engage,and expand the intellectual prowess of students; continuous and current staff development; programs to ensure schools are safe and healthy environments in which to learn and work; opportunities to forge relationships with parents, community representatives, board members, system associations, system hierarchy, and elected officials . I want to be engaged enough to advocate for opportunities for educators and administrators to ensure that every child is engaged and SUCCESSFUL in literacy and technology programs which get them to be competitive in a 21st century world.
    Has the county’s use of educational technology in the classroom been appropriate? Do you support the system’s expenditures for student laptops?
    Pasteur: From pre-kindergarten to grade twelve, students should be on a college or career trajectory. From the first day in school, every staff and faculty member should be preparing our young folks for the end prize. Students should be exposed to learning which combines 21st century technology with interactive strategies using common core standards with an emphasis on “literacy, numeracy, and writing” in every class, all being managed by capable educators, a job computers, alone, cannot do! Educators must be continuously supported and kept abreast of new trends and directions for student growth and development, purchased, managed, and levied with fiscal, instructional, and managerial responsibility. The philosophy for developing educators is the same as for students. For adults, we call it professional development; for students, we call it teaching. It is a cycle and none of it is free or inexpensive. Human beings must always be more important to educational and human growth than a computer. Access to computers is very important in the 21st century world, and schools should see that there is that access, but the cost should not exceed the cost to hire hire and retain personnel who will balance the relationship! There must be fiscal responsibility and management oversight, defining the process for the use of the technology. A great deal of money was spent on a good idea, the laptops, but with very little planning or management!
    Resource equity
    Are the system’s resources fairly and equitably divided among its schools? Does the system provide adequate support for students with large populations of minority or low-income students?
    Pasteur: As a principal and since retirement, I have heard repeatedly that staffing and resources would be levied to schools based on needs …poverty, number of special needs students, number unqualified educators, need for instructional support, and provision for counseling and mental health supports; this has never seemed to happen, thus leaving students and those who educate them disadvantaged. Certainly, there are areas in the county which are clearly defined by the number of students who receive free and reduced meals, who have poor state and local test scores, and high disciplinary rates. What, also, correlates with these numbers are the statistics which indicate transient populations and sometimes limited parental support. That this has been the case way too long,indicates that resources have been lacking., This system has embraced the concept of the community school. The concept means engaging staff in professional development and increasing teaching tools to close gaps and to help students catch up…the concept means using programs to access and engage community people and parents to give them opportunities to speak honestly and openly…the concept of the initiative means using a needs assessment to garner funding and staffing attached to the findings. The coordinator is to be a seasoned person who has demonstrated an ability to read data and act on it, reach out to parents and communities, and who has demonstrated strong teaching, work, or supervision skill with those being served. The concept described here is in place with the jury still out on its success
    What additional steps, if any, need to be taken to ensure that the board exercises adequate oversight over the superintendent? Do you see a distinction between the disclosure failures that led to former superintendent Dallas Dance’s guilty pleas and those that interim Superintendent Verletta White has admitted to?
    Pasteur: School boards are managers of a system. Rules must be known, questions asked, pressed if needed. The relationship is not one of friendship but management on every level!When Dr. Dance was given his second contract, it was already known that he had not complied completely with the tenets of the ethics disclosure forms, albeit how out of compliance was not known. He was diligent and concerted in his efforts to deceive and hide his finances and holdings from the people in Baltimore County Schools and no one could read his mind and know everything. I think the Board and the Ethics Panel will be more deliberate in how to oversee these matters in the future, working with the Board attorneys, and each other. This includes how money is spent…what is the process, the management process, the execution. Mrs, White, as I understand her situation, did not disclose money received for participating in training versus employment opportunities or a personal business endeavor. I believe that when we are in doubt, ask. I am sure she will ask from now on. I also believe that ignorance is not bliss; it is merely ignorance; we learn, hopefully, from our moments of ignorance …which we all have experienced. I see no correlation between what the former superintendent did and what was done by Mrs. White. I, also, see her as a more child/teacher centered and ethical person who follows through on commitments for the improvement of the children in this system.
    Are the system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure sufficient?
    Pasteur: Wherever there are rules of decorum, ethics, and delivery of services, those who manage and supervise must know them well. Being vigilant and aware of how we all are required to conduct ourselves and being transparent is important. For the sake of the order, it is imperative that questions are asked and oversight done regularly to maintain unblemished and focused attention on education. In light of the lack of information on the illegal behavior of the former superintendent, it is clear that more ways to oversee ethics issues, conflicts of interest, and financial disclosure must be found or reviewed, implemented, and managed. The current rules are not as much of the problem as how to monitor and manage the information supplied.
    Do you think the school system's discipline policies keep students safe while appropriately disciplining students who exhibit poor behavior? What, if any, changes would you propose to the school system's discipline policies?
    Pasteur: Rules are important; knowing and understanding the rules is important; following the rules is important The System, however, must engage staff, parents, students, and other stakeholders in discussions and training opportunities to recognize, assess, and find or create remedies for problems in each school. Funding must be found to hire health care professionals and develop community relationships; it is important to support the funding of treatment plans for staff and students, as well, in any of these areas of need. Students are often disciplined by removing them, but what is offered to them by professionals to amend their behaviors and the reasons behind the behavior is missing. Placing school resource officers in schools is a necessity for those inside the building and coming into the building; however, this must be merged with having students in classes with teachers and support personnel who have had training with recognizing students who might seem to have social and emotional needs; the training should extend to how adults interact and talk to children as well. The policies are there, but they are essentially AFTER THE FACT. We need to address the symptoms so the negative behavior is thwarted.
    Common Core/PARCC
    What are your views on the Common Core and the PARCC exams?
    Pasteur: Local school systems do have a responsibility to state and federal mandates and directions. Those mandates must be about the growth of our children, however. Common Core standards are measurable and do address standards which might well put them on par with other students in and out of the state. The rub here is that all students do not land at the same academic place at the same time or at the same level, thus leaving some students looking as if they have intellectual short-comings; not all teachers have the same skills levels at the same time to move students where they need to be without mentoring or staff development opportunities. Our first responsibility is to OUR STUDENTS and then to the people who educate them. These mandates tend to be far reaching for they are levied on all of the children in the state in the same way and time, even when the socio-economic structure of the various systems are different, not to mention the students within the system. Assessing a system, educator, and child in a “cookie cutter” manner is to ignore children and their needs, skills, interests. All means all means that school boards and associations MUST be strong advocates for the educational integrity of the system. PARCC will be given but should not be the final barometer for how a child sees himself; it should be the measuring rod to assess how to remedy the weaknesses.
    Should diversity be a factor in decisions about drawing new school attendance zone lines?
    Pasteur: Artificial lines seem problematic to me. Students should be able to attend schools near them or special schools to which they apply and are accepted. Now, if the lines are re-drawn because it is easier than making sure that every school in a system has the best teachers, needed staffing and related supports based on needs, top level teaching materials, equitable opportunities for upper level courses and career/technology paths, and courses to address special learning needs, then lines need to be drawn. It seems to me changing lines so that some students will be able to attend schools that some people think are good schools and the rest are relegated to schools that have the named needs is capricious and not necessarily fair. Are the lines going to be changed so that some students in strong areas will end up in a school that is not doing as well? Why not commit to making sure that all of the schools are well developed places for all of the students. I get the point; I am just concerned about who decides which students get to attend a stronger and more diverse program. Should we tell adults that they may not purchase the house of their choice because they will shift the diversity meter? When magnet programs began, that was the federal governments thinking …create programs which naturally create a diverse environment.
    School construction
    How would you set priorities for school construction and renovation? Has the county devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings?
    Pasteur: Develop standards, benchmarks, and protocols for the maintenance and reporting about facilities, aging or new, over crowdedness, and changing demographics; create a skilled work force within the system to supply information about the needs and changes, and process how to correct or respond to the findings. All of this must be in concert with State and Local elected officials who are a part of allocating funding. There should be no political bias real or by appearance for why one school’s needs are more pressing than another. Based on the outcries from schools, it appears that the protocols for maintenance of schools has been weak, leaving problems untended until they become serious and expensive. As a former principal, there would be problems that we did not see or monitor because they were not matters that our backgrounds would recognize until they became significant problems. There were problems we saw and reported which did not get handled until we complained to our stakeholders who echoed our complaints. The facilities department should have the protocols for regular maintenance of system properties.

    Election Coverage

      Help support our election coverage. Get 4 weeks of unlimited access for only 99¢. Subscribe