Cascade Views Podcast

Nicole Fitch - Candidate for Bend La Pine School Board, Zone 7

March 16, 2023 Michael Sipe - Central Oregon Leadership Discussions
Cascade Views Podcast
Nicole Fitch - Candidate for Bend La Pine School Board, Zone 7
Show Notes Transcript

Nicole Fitch is currently running for Bend La Pine School Board, Zone 7. She is currently a Real Estate Broker with John L. Scott Realty, but she has 15-years-experience in the field of education. Her career has been dedicated to educating students in public schools as an elementary school teacher, an elementary assistant principal, and an instructional specialist, helping to evaluate instructional materials for a statewide English Language Arts/ English Language Development curriculum. 

You can learn more about Nicole at, that’s 


Unknown Speaker  0:07  
As bend is ever changing and diversifying, I want the bend community to understand that I am one who works hard to achieve excellence for just all students. Parents are really feeling there's no follow through with some of our kids. So I believe that if we all work together, we can achieve that positive learning environment for all students to be prepared for their futures.

Narrator  0:28  
Welcome to cascade views a discussion with Central Oregon leaders. Your host is Michael SIPE, founder of 10x catalyst groups and Crosspoint capital community leader and best selling author. The purpose of these discussions is to share the views and insights of local leaders from a variety of community sectors on a range of timely and important regional and state issues. With that now, here's your host, Michael SIPE.

Michael Sipe  0:55  
Thanks for joining us on cascade views. My name is Michael SIPE, and I'll be your host. My guest today is my friend Nicole Fitch, Nicole is running for Bendel pine school board zone seven. She is currently a real estate broker with John L. Scott Realty but she has 15 years experience in the field of education. Her career has been dedicated to educating students in public schools as an elementary school teacher, and the elementary assistant principal and an instructional specialist helping to evaluate instructional materials for a statewide English language arts and English language development curriculum. You can learn more about Nicole and Nicole for BLP That's BLP as in Bend le pine schools. So that's Nicole for BLP I invited Nicole here today to talk about why she's running for the bend lupine school board and what she'd like to bring to the position. So Nicole, welcome to the show.

Unknown Speaker  1:52  
Hi, Michael. Thank you so much for inviting inviting me so I can share my reasons for running for our school board. To kick

Michael Sipe  1:58  
this off, how about sharing just a little of your personal and professional history and what brought you to bend? All right,

Unknown Speaker  2:04  
well, I was born and raised in Orange County, California. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in liberal studies from Chapman University in 2002. I went on to receive my clear multiple subject teaching credential with clad and that clad portion authorized me as a credential teacher to deliver instruction for English learners. I was primarily a kindergarten and first grade teacher. In 2013, I decided to head back to school and get my master's in education, my Master's in Education Leadership, from Concordia University. Throughout my career, I've been an elementary school teacher, and elementary instructional specialist, and elementary assistant principal. My husband and I decided to move to bend to follow my parents. They have lived here for close to 20 years and we would often come visit to enjoy the skiing and all of the outdoor summer fun that Ben has. My husband and I decided to wait for our two older children to finish high school in California before we decided to bring our then third and fifth grade girls to bend for a different lifestyle. We just love everything about bend and everything it has to offer. And super excited, we made the choice to move here. I thought I would stay in education. We moved here but not landing a job. My mother asked if I would help her in real estate. It was kind of exciting for me because I got to kind of be a mom, I was kind of picking up my kids from school, dropping them off from school, dropping them off at school and having the opportunity to volunteer in classrooms, which was a fun experience for me. And of course, our girls didn't get to finish their first school year because the pandemic hits and that's kind of a you know, everything changed there. We're now at home learning with mom.

Michael Sipe  3:42  
Very good. So your background in education. Let's talk about that a little bit more because it's really extensive. So tell us just a little bit more about your very expensive experiences, particularly in education.

Unknown Speaker  3:55  
Yeah, you know, I when I went in to be an elementary teacher, I thought that would be I would retire being an elementary teacher. But at some point I kind of found myself wanting to do more in the field of education. My my I always love my kindergarten first graders, but I was just kind of being pulled to kind of learn more. I think that's when I decided to go back to school and get my Master's in Education Leadership. It was there that I started to reach out to my district to get more involved. I was helping design and implement skill based after school programs. I was mentoring new staff members, new teachers, I found myself collaborating with administrators in the areas of professional development and data analysis. I found myself applying to the California State Board of Education to serve as an instructional materials materials reviewer to evaluate our instructional materials for our 2015 English language arts and English language development adoption. From that experience, my district brought me in to evaluate many different language arts curriculums, as our own district was looking to adopt at that that year. From there, I was really excited when I landed the position of an assistant principal at two elementary school sites. So I was shared amongst two schools, which was very challenging. But I had some amazing principals that I got to work with. And they kind of got to assist them in instructional decisions, and monitor student behavior. And so it really kind of gave me that experience that I absolutely loved.

Michael Sipe  5:31  
One of the things I've heard you talk about, is your work in a title one school, I'm not sure what that means. So what's the title one school? And why might that be relevant here in Central Oregon?

Unknown Speaker  5:42  
Yeah, so Title One schools in California, it's a federal grant, which provides federal funding to schools. Under its the Every Student Succeeds Act. So it's to help students who who are who are behind academically or at risk of falling behind. These funds are kind of how they're distributed as to high poverty schools. And that's kind of determined on the number of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, I bring this up, because this is my background, and kind of where I feel like my expertise from my years in education. You know, I am so proud of my educational experience in helping schools achieve title one academic achievement awards. And I felt like just really bringing them bringing that up, because as bend is ever changing, and diversifying, I want the bend community to understand that I am one who works hard to achieve excellence for just all students. And so kind of ringing in that background of I've worked really hard in that area, is why kind of bring that up.

Michael Sipe  6:42  
Very good. Another term I'm not familiar with is instructional specialist. You mentioned that in a little earlier comment. So what is an instructional specialist? And how might that be useful as a school board member?

Unknown Speaker  6:56  
Yeah, so I'm an instructional specialist. I will say I love being an assistant principal, but I think part of me really love being an instructional specialist. Some districts kind of call them an instructional coach. So it was an opportunity where I got to work closely with classroom teachers to kind of provide instructional support. This could be with instructional planning, this could be with classroom management, I would collaborate with administrators in areas of professional development, and deliver professional development to support throughout the district. You know, most of our planning was always centered around student achievement. And I feel, you know, all of that, that I've done as an instructional specialist can be brought in as the board because again, part of the board is all about student achievement. And but I feel

Michael Sipe  7:44  
sure that makes a lot of sense. Before we dig in, though, on Ben lupine school specifically, maybe you could just share a few thoughts on your overarching philosophies on education.

Unknown Speaker  7:54  
Yeah, you know, I believe we need to hold our students to the highest standards, we need to nurture the growth of our students for their unique and special gifts by fostering academic success and independence. We need to provide a rigorous and engaging education for all of our students to lead them whether it's college, whether it's a trade school, whether it's just, you know, going out and getting a career after high school by giving them that life readiness, and inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow.

Michael Sipe  8:26  
Okay, well, you have a couple of kids in Ben lupine school district. So you're not only familiar with education in general, but also with our local school district specifically. So what attracts you to want to serve on a local school board?

Unknown Speaker  8:39  
Well, my girls didn't have kind of their normal first school year in Bend, when we moved here. You know, we went from, you know, the pandemic hit, and all of a sudden, we were doing all of our learning at home, part of me just felt like they missed so much of what school is about, especially going to a brand new area. But now, coming out of the pandemic, I really still feel like they are kind of still missing out on a lot of things. We have so many students with so many learning gaps, and we're seeing so many behavior issues happening within our schools. I feel like the more I talk to parents, you know, parents aren't feeling like they have the voice. I've spoken to a few teachers, teachers are getting, you know, burned out, and I think our students are suffering. Sometimes I asked myself why I'm doing this, but for some reason, I just kind of keep getting that poll, and I'm drawn into it. I think part of me it just it comes back to being about the students. I think it's still that educator in me, that just keeps us wants to do this. And it just it's not leaving me. So I'm just feel like I've got to follow through with this.

Michael Sipe  9:47  
Sure. Well, they've applied school district is a large school district. So what do you see as some of the strengths in the district and maybe Where's there some room for possible improvement

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
So I've, you know, been in bed for almost about four years, you know, my, my girls have been really lucky to have some wonderful, dedicated teachers. I think when the pandemic hit, the district did a great job pulling things together. So all students had access to instruction. It even though it looked completely different, I think they just they did what they could. They made sure you know, kids had their iPads, if kids had trouble with getting online, they really were there for our students. And I just don't think it was easy for anyone in the district, but I think they worked really hard to try to work it out. You know, some of the areas for rooms for possible improvements yesterday, I had the great opportunity to sit down with Dr. Cook. And and kind of express some of my concerns, for the lack of, you know, the consequences that for disruptive behavior and the safety of our teachers and students. We heard from some of the teachers at the last board meeting sharing some of their own experience with student behavior. And those teachers are not feeling like they're getting supported by the district. You know, I really feel we need to improve these disruptive behaviors before we can move forward with anything else the district is trying to put together. I mean, we're having, you know, issues, and I'm reaching out to parents and teachers and talking to them about it and hearing from students as well.

Michael Sipe  11:26  
Well, how do you think you might be able to help with this, both in reinforcing the strengths and then also in addressing some of these areas where there's an opportunity for improvement? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  11:36  
I've been really, really proud to put myself out there to meet with teachers. And I've had an opportunity to sit down with a couple of teachers about some of the things that they're feeling. And a lot of that's going to come back to behavior. And with parents, parents are really feeling there's no follow through with some of our kids. So I just really want to work. I believe that if we all work together, we can achieve that positive learning environment for all students to be prepared for their futures. But it does, it takes us as a community to come together.

Michael Sipe  12:06  
One of the things I've been impressed with is your solid set of values. And I think everyone would agree that the values are really important in the field of education. So maybe you could share just a few of those core values.

Unknown Speaker  12:19  
Yeah. And, you know, those core values obviously, came from my educational experience. And that was, you know, one of the top ones is the care and compassion, you know, I've been really lucky to work with some, some amazing students and, you know, to, to motivate them, to really, you know, innovate them and make them happy. I believe in equality. I believe you know, that all individuals are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect, and innovation, you know, enabling our students to adapt and thrive in an ever changing world. I mean, those are some of my big core values.

Michael Sipe  12:55  
Well, as we wrap up here, what else would you like our listeners to know about you and your desire to serve?

Unknown Speaker  13:01  
You know, everyone agrees that students must be been the pines, behind schools top priority. putting students first requires an open dialogue with community that encourages relentless, transparent, and improvement of our schools. So that's one of why I'm here.

Michael Sipe  13:19  
Very good. Nicole, it's been great having you on the show. You know, one of my takeaways, I think, is the background, the extensive background that you have. And I think that's so critical for guiding the school district on the board. And so I just applaud that and applaud you for being willing to, to put yourself out there be willing to serve and to help in a way that seems like you're uniquely qualified to be able to do so. Thank you very much for that. Thanks for your time and your message today, Nicole.

Unknown Speaker  13:48  
Michael, I just want to thank you so much for having me today and allowing me to share my experience and why I am choosing to run for bend the pine school board. Seven Seven.

Michael Sipe  13:59  
My guest today has been Nicole Fitch. She's a candidate for Bella pine school board and zone seven. You can find out more about Nicole and her campaign at Nicole for BLP That's Nicole for B LP Thanks for tuning in.

Narrator  14:16  
Thanks for listening to cascade views with Michael SIPE. To find out more about Mike 10x catalyst groups and to hear additional cascade views episodes visit 10x That's 10x you can secure your own copy of Michael SIPE his best selling book the Avada And finally, please continue to get informed and actively engaged in serving our Central Oregon Community. Your Voice Matters