“Your child, your choice” is not just a slogan to Jen Showalter
When Jen Showalter speaks, you can hear the passion and authority in her voice, and it’s no surprise. Through the years, Showalter has become very knowledgeable about the subject matter she now speaks about publicly.
Showalter is a wife, a business owner, and most importantly, the mother of three gifted children (sons Mason and Logan, and daughter Sydney), two of whom are high-functioning autistic and have a laundry list of special needs. Showalter received a minor in communication from Virginia Tech and put her professional background in communication to good use when her children were babies. Due to their special needs, she had to educate herself on how to best care for them while also allowing them to reach their full potential.
Showalter homeschools her youngest son Mason due to the harassment he received at school, leading to a decision to remove him from that environment. While going through the homeschooling curriculum with him, including a complete foundation level of instruction, she became aware of the failure of the schools in Palm Beach County in providing students with the foundation necessary to obtain a good education upon high school graduation. Along with their teaching of critical race theory, the pornography, and sexually explicit material allowed in the schools, Showalter knew she had to do something.
She is now running as a candidate for Palm Beach County School Board District 6 as a concerned parent, having spent the last 16 years advocating for early reading intervention and special needs. Showalter’s passion for serving her community stems from growing up in a family of educators, hearing them speak of the unique challenges they faced in the education of their students, and how to best address them.
“My son is homeschooled and goes at his own pace. And that’s what we have forgotten in this one size fits all society. We don’t all fit into one size. And so I want to make sure that all children have the tools that they need to go at the pace that they need to flourish in their own way and time,” Showalter said.
Showalter shared some sobering statistics about the level of education students receive upon graduating from high school in Palm Beach County. Currently, students graduate with a math proficiency of only 47%, a reading proficiency of around 50%, and a college readiness index of 28 out of 100. However, the graduation rate is a surprising 95.9%. Approximately half of the students who graduate from high school do not possess the necessary math and reading skills to pursue a successful academic career.
The lack of proficient math and reading skills among high school graduates working in the community has also caused problems. Showalter spoke with many local business owners who said they have had to fire younger workers because they cannot solve problems. They are given a task at work and cannot figure out how to solve it. “We teach children what to think rather than how to think. That is not acceptable. We need to bring back actual academics instead of being so focused on social engineering and gender identity rather than on math and reading,” says Showalter.
For all these reasons and more, Showalter has thrown her hat in the ring as a candidate for Palm Beach County School Board District 6 and is running on a platform that involves the following issues:
- Return the power back to the people
- Restore parent and employee choice, and no more medical mandates
- Eradicate political indoctrination (no CRT)
- Rebuild transparency, communication, and accountability
- Refocus on real academics and results
“I want to make sure that all children have equal opportunities. Equity and equality are not the same things. I believe that every child can do their very best and reach their potential. And we want to make sure they get there. But that means it’s up to them. We can encourage them, create a healthy school environment, and stress personal responsibility and a strong work ethic. That’s what we need to rekindle in our education system. The victim mentality has to go.
We need to ensure that every school has the same books, curriculum, and caliber of teachers, providing those teachers with the training and tools needed to teach our children successfully. We must create a positive school environment, so one strike doesn’t mean you’re out. If you make a mistake, you’re not struck out. These kids need to know it’s okay to learn from their mistakes. Sometimes that’s the best teacher.
I’ve talked to people in District 6. The area includes a little bit of West Boynton and Lake Worth, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Belle Glade, and Pahokee. The people in Pahokee and Belle Glade have their own set of issues. Those kids feel hopeless because if they get in trouble once, game over. These children are not write-offs,” says Showalter.
Showalter recently partnered with BEST (the education division of Freedom Works) to travel to the capitol in Tallahassee and speak before the Florida House and Senate Education Committees to address Palm Beach County’s genuine concerns. This is just one of the long list of venues where Showalter has spoken since embarking on the campaign trail nine months earlier. She expects to have a full schedule of events leading up to the local school board election on August 23.
Despite her busy schedule, Showalter finds time to read. She says she is a voracious reader and can finish a book in two to three hours if she isn’t interrupted. Showalter enjoys spending time with her three kids playing board games, baking together, and getting out to the beach. Showalter views everything a parent does with their kids as a learning opportunity and hopes to restore the joy of learning if she has the honor of serving as a Board member.
“I am always willing to talk with whoever would like to discuss the issues. And honestly, this is a non-partisan race. And I’m glad it’s a non-partisan race. We all want the best for our children. Our children aren’t on either side of the aisle. Our children are the future. And we must stand together as Americans, and at least on the fundamental level of the need to have strong academics, a positive school environment, equal opportunity to all curriculum, and empower our children to say, ‘I can do it.’ And I think we can find common ground on these very critical issues, whether we disagree or agree on other issues,” says Showalter.
To learn more about Jen Showalter and her upcoming schedule, visit her website.
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