Sally O’Callaghan: Bringing Excellence to Every Building

Sally O'Callaghan headshots and family portraitsGrowing up in the west suburbs of Cleveland, we were fortunate to have great public schools. When I started teaching in inner city schools, I realized how different the quality of education these children were receiving was, as compared to my own.

Over the course of my ten-year career in Cincinnati Public Schools, as I taught at different schools within this district, I became deeply concerned about the disparity in the educational experiences from one school to another within the district. I spent my teaching career making certain that the children in my classroom, regardless of their socio-economic background, received a challenging and engaging educational opportunity. Each of my students was given the chance to thrive. I believe strongly that all children can succeed in the classroom, if given this same chance.

Several years ago, I left my profession to be at home with my children. This fall, all four of them will be students in a Cincinnati Public School. My children are lucky enough to be enrolled in one of our district’s Excellent Schools. Sadly, many of our city’s kids are not as fortunate. You may be surprised to learn that only 51% of our 5th graders are proficient in Math, and only 64% of CPS students are graduating from high school.

As a parent, I know how important it is for kids to be allowed to have access to stimulating and challenging curriculum. Kids want to be pushed to do their best. They need the adults in their lives to continually encourage them to work harder than they thought possible. By helping all of our district’s children excel in schools, we are providing the groundwork for a lifetime of high functioning, engaged members of our society.

After spending ten years working in this district, I am familiar with both the successes and the challenges in our schools. As a school board member, I will focus on strengthening every school in the district. Until I would be willing to send my children to any school within the district, our schools are not as good as they can and should be for any of the children in this city. We need an excellent school in every neighborhood. I will work to make this happen.

Photo by Sean Hughes