2020 Primary Voters’ Guide: Nebraska State Board of Education, District 4

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of 2020 Primary Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

The primary election is May 12. Find out more about voting by mail: Extensive guide | Quick video guide

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Candidates

Jacquelyn Morrison (D):
Website: www.morrisonfor4.com
Occupation: Attorney
Current Public Office, dates held: NA
Past Public Office, dates held: NA
Education: BBA (Accountancy)-The George Washington University, Juris Doctor – Georgetown University
Military Experience: NA
Volunteer Experience: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Volunteer, St. Cecilia’s Cathedral Soccer Coach, Member of the Office of Violence Prevention Advisory Board, Former Mentor with Girls Inc Bold Futures Program

Adrian Petrescu (NP):
Website: www.Adrian4NE.com
Occupation:  Professor and Teacher, Legislative Adviser, Diplomat
Current Public Office, dates held: N/A
Past Public Office, dates held: N/A
Education: Doctor of Philosophy, Public Policy (hon), Economics of Science & Technology for Innovation, Univ of Pittsburgh, 2003 Juris Doctor, Creighton Univ, Omaha NE, 2016 Master of Science, Engineering, UPBucharest, Romania, 1989 M.A., Int’l Rel’s, NSPSA, Ro
Military Experience: Yes.
Volunteer Experience: Midtown Neighborhood Alliance (MNA), Omaha NE 2015- Yates Future, #SaveYatesForOmaha, ensuring continuance of Refugee & Immigrants educational programming by OPS, & building repurpose, Nov 2019- Gifford Park Neighborhood OPS & GPNA, EdSpec Comm-2017

Candidate Responses

Do you see this board as being an elected or appointed body? Please explain your reasoning.

Jacquelyn Morrison: The State Board of Education is an elected body per the Nebraska State Constitution. I believe that the board should remain an elected body as it allows each district to vote for the candidate that best represents their district.

Adrian Petrescu: Nebraska State Board of Education is elected. It is very important for Nebraska Dept. of Education to respond to the citizens through representation by an elected board. Democracy is ensured, & the vision of the Nebraska Department of Education, “to lead and support the preparation of all Nebraskans for learning, earning, and living,” can be fulfilled truthfully with equity towards _all_ Nebraskans. Democracy often under-hears those who whisper–e.g. girls in STEM. This board must hear everyone.

What can be done to ensure the safety of students and teachers in our schools?

Jacquelyn Morrison: I believe that safety is an extremely important issue. Within schools we can improve safety by addressing our growing need for behavioral and mental health services. If we are able to address these needs of students, teachers and students will be less exposed to danger. We also have to guard against outside threats to our schools. I think we do this by securing our schools and creating strategic partnerships with local officials and law enforcement.

Adrian Petrescu: Parents must take responsibility to nurture discipline & respect from early on in life of children, & ongoing. Role modes. This way school children will behave better as they had & continue to have a good upbringing in partnership children-schoolsfamilies-communities. Early childhood structured learning opportunities help w/ early socializing among children before they come to school. Attention to diversity & inclusion as in Gifford Park. Training for teachers. Strong gun background checks.

How can the continuing education of teachers be supported?

Jacquelyn Morrison: The continuing education of teachers can be supported through funds specifically dedicated to professional development. As a regular practice, we should continuously survey the needs of teachers, and work with educators to develop course offerings that address those areas of need. Finally, I believe that we have to reward teachers (through raises and promotions) for their efforts so that they know that their efforts are recognized.

Adrian Petrescu: Training & professional development for teachers made available. Lecture/speakers series. Sharing of best practices. NED support for furthering educational opportunities–we did it with establishing partnerships between school district(s) and educational institutions (community colleges and universities and graduate programs), in SE Michigan, in S Texas, in Philadelphia. Peer system of support internally inside ESUs/Schools/Grade/Subject. Support from NSEA and OEA for continuing education. CECs?

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