This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the 2020 Prince George’s County Board of Education candidates. Raaheela Ahmed is a candidate from District 5 (see district map here) running in the November 3 general election. Ms. Ahmed answered questions generated by members of Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools.
Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools does not endorse or oppose any candidate for the Board of Education.
Tell us about your background and your plans to move our school system forward. Why do you want to be on the Board of Education?
I am running for the Board of Education because I avidly want to create a better educational foundation for the youth of Prince George’s County. As a lifelong Prince Georgian, District 5 resident, millennial, and K-12 product of PGCPS, I am highly committed to the success of our community, and feel that I have the necessary skills to propel us forward:
- I have a passion for education and learning. I am currently working for a nonprofit that focuses on institutionalizing civic engagement with college students.
- I am a meticulous worker, and am steadfast in bringing issues to light, even if it is unpopular.
- I work hard to listen to my community, and do what is in the best interest of our kids.
- I am unbought by other politicians. My campaigns have all been strong grassroots efforts; I have never received nor depended on political establishment support for electoral success.
- I have degrees in Finance & Economics: an asset when it comes to analyzing and amending our $2+ billion budget.
What do you believe are the most important characteristics of an effective school board?
An effective school board is one where its members land on common ground: the success of children & young people. It is one where vision and mission supersede politics. It is one whose leadership is dynamic and infectious, even precedent setting.
Essentially, an effective Board of Education goes beyond the job description. The job of a school board is to oversee the system’s superintendent, pass policies and affirm a budget for the school district, but individual members assuming the roles of advocates and activists is what sets the board as a leadership body.
To me, that means board members that:
- Come prepared to board meetings with questions that hold our system accountable
- Respond empathetically to community needs and requests
- Stay present in the community at different events and activities
- Spread information and sharing knowledge in a transparent way
- Offer opportunities for people to access power, and engage in the civic process