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Signal Hill school board candidate: Donna Dougherty

Name: Donna Dougherty

City of residence: Belleville

Age: 62

Family status: Married with three children

Education: bachelors degree in physical therapy, St. Louis University

Occupation: Retired physical therapist

Political party: Independent

Office sought: Signal Hill School Board

Campaign Facebook:

Previously held offices: vice president Signal Hill Neighborhood Association

What qualifies you for this position?

“I was a physical therapist in the Belleville School System for over 10 years. I’m actively involved in my community, most recently as a community liaison helping to establish an academic summer program, the West End Summer Camp, aiming to “close the achievement gap” at Signal Hill School. As a St. Clair County Greenspace board member, I’m active in working to establish an “Outdoor Classroom” in Bluff Park Preserve. I developed the 95th Street Community Garden in order to provide a place for teachers and district leaders to promote the use of gardening to enhance education in the environmental sciences.”

What is the top issue in your race, and how would you address it?

“Totally eliminating the achievement gap. Education starts at home, in neighborhoods and in communities. Educational opportunity and academic achievement are directly tied to social divisions based on race, gender and social class. Quality education opens doors to a future for all our children while lack of access closes them. The achievement gap deserves the full attention of our district leadership. We need to stop talking around this issue and put the crucial data on the table. Acknowledging the problem is only the first step — the next step is to do something about it.”