Rochester City School Board candidate Tatiana L. Welch took time away from her campaign to introduce herself to our readers. Here's what she had to say.
Tocsin: Could you tell us a little about your background?
Tatiana: A little about my background: I come from a close-knit family. My maternal side is Bahamian and Panamanian decedents. My paternal family are southern Americans, therefore all in all I am an Aboriginal, Hispanic American; black American if you must. I am a mother of two; an eight-year-old boy name Danilo and a 3-year-old girl named QueenAha’Ra. I am a very loving giving and caring person. I have been tutoring and teaching since I was fourteen. At seventeen I was a student and a student assistant teacher for an SAT Prep class at the Upward Bound Program at Georgia State University. I am a McNair Scholar, and I am a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. I have many degrees and certifications; I will only mention the most important here. I have an associate degree in liberal arts and psychology, a bachelor's in psychology and English and I am currently working on my Master of Art in English Literature & Creative Writing. Through much of my teaching in school settings and childcare settings, my most memorable was through the YMCA enrichment program where I was responsible for enriching the children as well as the parents through family night events at least once a month. All in all, I say all this to ensure you know that I pride myself on helping others become better learners as well as educated in the best way for their success. I also take pride in taking meals to the bus stops to those that sleep there. My other pride is helping collect things throughout the city to take to the pantries that serve the city of Rochester.
Tocsin: Why do you believe you are qualified to sit on the Rochester City School Board?
Tatiana: I believe that I Tatiana Welch am very qualified to sit on the RCSD School Board not only because of my professional background, but also because of my background as a parent, educator, and adult lifelong learner. Even outside of the school settings I am an educator. I believe and my campaign team agrees that education should be obtained through the power of creating bridges through communication and understanding. During our K-12 lives, we are faced with many of life's major transitions support is important the most during these times. I have the cultural relevance as well as the personal and professional experiences of being in the schools and talking to parents, I want to ensure it is known that I will be filling this seat for the children and the parents.
Tocsin: What makes you different from the other candidates out there?
Tatiana: What makes me different is my multifaceted abilities and ways of accomplishing my goals. I am versatile in different computer operations and I can teach history, English, semantics, math, earth science, and basic science and chemistry. I am available to the people at all times, through my direct phone, social media page, and or email (or my secretary @email@example.com), and my name on Facebook. I will respond to each, and every text, message, and email, and if I do not get to answer your call leave a message and I will call back with the right information or ready to help any student or parent with work all the way to seniors in undergraduate education. I am also different from other candidates because I am a documented leader through a few different programs including locally and on the national level. I am also versatile in the knowledge of both the Christain and Muslim religion, coming from a catholic family and ensuring my children are knowledgeable in the first religion of the world (Islam). Another reason I am different than any of the other candidates running is the fact that I am an overachiever. As a result of this, I expect the best out of those around me, therefore I give my all and my best in order to prove that only you can define your best, but we together can make your best greater. I may not have as much history that the mass public knows about like the other candidates, however, more than a few people will tell you I will give my last so you could be secure and successful in your endeavors. I believe your success is my success because the community is what drives unity and equity amongst our own.
Tocsin: What would you like your supporters to know about you?
Tatiana: I would like my supporters to know that equity for both students, parents, teachers, and staff is at the top of my priority list in order to fight the disenfranchisement of our people. To clarify what I mean by our people is brown and black folk of all racial ethnicity including Hispanics, the church the mosque, and those that are our allies for successfully creating and successfully implementing the black agenda. I would also like my supporters to know that any funds they donate will go back into the city for the children and the families of our community to enjoy family enrichment programming about the government processes, voting processes, and many other hands-on activities that will entice learning and understanding. I would also like my supporters to know that I am in line and support the Real Equity Advocacy Leadership (REAL) Team’s Racial Equity Action Plan, whose vision statement says, “RCD will be a thoroughly anti-racist institution that ensures equitable opportunities for all.” I agree with them for many reasons especially their stance on training 100% of staff and teachers on the code of conduct of the district.
Tocsin: What changes do you plan on making if you are elected to sit on the Rochester City School Board?
Tatiana: When I am elected to the commissioner seat at the RCSD, the changes that I plan to make are many. The first thing I will change is the way in which the schools and the district communicate and interact with the parents and the community on any decisions being made that pertains to our children's education. This includes the curriculum, the school lunches, IEP assessments as well as implementing or taking away programs in the school that benefit the children. The IEP/special education programs are a fight that I plan to take on because the schools are given 33 thousand dollars for each child placed into the IEP or special education program by Medicaid. Instead of kids being evaluated for only IEP, the re-implementation of the gifted program will be done within the district. I also want to address our HR department about how they hire, teachers, staff and administration, because cultural understanding is more important in cultural awareness nowadays. Our children need motivation from those that are resilient like themselves so they can see that the struggle won’t be forever, and this can only be done if we get more folks that look like our kids in front of our kids, who qualify to teach and support our kids.
Tocsin: How can your supporters stay updated on your campaign?
Tatiana: Supporters can stay updated on my campaign by following my social media Facebook page at “Tatiana Welch for RCSD School Board Commissioner.” Also, if you stay tuned to your local in-person bulletin boards, I will be ensuring to place event calendars throughout those. Another way is to simply call, email, or inbox me on any medium. You will get me directly. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My telephone is (585) 673-6203, and you can leave a voice message or text.
Tocsin: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Tatiana: Thank You so much Shanique for the opportunity to be interviewed by you and your magazine. I am so proud of you; even before I knew it was your magazine. I can’t wait to see it as a coffee table delicate like that of the other magazines that are haha. Go sister go! Love peace and blessings to you and your team.Tatiana L. Welch