Hi, my name is Emily (Emmy) Pollen and I am running for Lincoln, NE School Board, District 2. I have worked in education for over a decade. When my husband and I decided to become foster parents, I stepped into a substitute role at LPS. I work as a Teacher, Para-Educator, Bus Associate, and Nutrition Services Worker. Between substituting for LPS and being a Foster-Parent, I have been in almost every building. We moved to Lincoln in 2018 so my husband could be a Chaplain for Bryan Hospital. We bought a century-old fixer-upper in the Near South neighborhood and enjoy walking to work, Zesto Ice Cream, and the Capitol Building. I like to go ice skating, read and volunteer in the children's ministry at our church.
LPS schools are wonderfully diverse. Earlier this year, I met a student who was a refugee from Afghanistan; at age 10, she was going to school for the first time ever! As an Intercultural Studies Major, I was learning about Critical Race Theory, culture, and identity before they became hot-button issues. I graduated from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul in 2011. I have educated and cared for children in Trinidad, Romania, Taiwan, Haiti, and on our Native American Reservations. With a Bachelor of Sciences, I am knowledgeable about Teaching English Language, Intercultural Communication, Social Issues, and Anthropology.
I have seen many encouraging things while working in our Lincoln schools. I think the teachers are amazing but I am saddened to hear they are suffering burnout at alarming rates. I believe ALL students deserve an education but I question the safety of staff and students when kids with severe behaviors are placed in a large-classroom setting without proper support. Our teachers need to be treated better but we don't need to raise taxes to do it. We just need to spend the money we do have more wisely!
I am married to a Hospital Chaplain. Our experiences with the death and devastation of Covid-19 shaped my views of health and safety for our students and staff. I am still wrestling with the the implications of mask and vaccine mandates. While I pray that we are never faced with another pandemic, I commit to seeking input from students, parents, staff, science and medical advisors on the best course of action to take.
Parents are students’ first and best teachers. The role of the school is to educate, not indoctrinate students. LPS’s most recent test results show that we have enough to worry about just helping students be proficient in Reading/Writing and Math. Our schools should not be afraid of transparency in curriculum decisions. Parents and community members have a right to know what is being taught. After all, even if you don't have a student at LPS, today's students will be your care-givers, politicians, business leaders, laborers, and neighbors one day. Don't you want them to have a quality education?
I am running for District 2 School Board because I see it as my civic duty. I was made aware that my opponent was running unchallenged, and I decided I had to give my community a choice. Competition makes us all stronger. I have no personal funds to put toward this campaign. My only "staff" is my cat (and he is mostly interested in trying to bat at my hands while I type.) Please consider donating to my campaign so I can buy signs and print flyers. If you have an event I could speak at I would love to get the word out about my campaign. If you can help with technology or anything else let me know.