The Shelby County Board of Education is elected to serve the students, families, tax payers and communities they represent. We are currently blessed with leaders who bring a wealth of experience in education and business, but there is more to be considered when making decisions that will impact students and the trajectory of our schools. We are missing a parent's perspective on the Shelby County Board of Education. I am Amber Polk and I hope to provide that missing perspective soon by earning your vote to the Shelby County Board of Education.

My husband, Dustin, and I have raised our family in Shelby County for 16 years. We have three children active in Shelby County Schools. Being a mom to a high school, middle school and elementary school student gives me a comprehensive understanding of challenges facing our students, parents and schools at all levels. I am in our schools on a consistent basis, not as an employee but as a parent volunteer, a spectator of many sports and a member of the community. I have a background in pharmaceutical sales, but chose over a decade ago to pause my career to focus on my family. Since leaving the corporate world, I have served my family, church and community. When I was considering running for Shelby County Board of Education, I hesitated because I do not have a background specifically in education. It was then someone pointed out the only true qualification needed is willingness to learn and serve. After many discussions with educators, administrators and other parents, I now consider my lack of experience as a traditional educator an advantage for serving on the board. The way we have always done things is no longer working. It's going to take someone unrestrained by years of training in a public school system to look at our challenges in 2022 with a new approach. I am not afraid to ask questions to understand the "why" behind our school system's processes and decisions. I thrive on persistence until I become a subject matter expert and understand the topic at hand. I am passionate about thinking "outside of the box" to find resolutions that will consider everyone involved and provide the most benefit.

We are experiencing unprecedented growth in Shelby County. We have three of the fastest growing cities in the state of Alabama in one county school system. It is inevitable with this rapidly growing population our schools are facing unique challenges. It is the responsibility of the Shelby County School leaders and community leaders to work together to develop strategies to mitigate the growing pains. Because many of these issues are due to budgetary limitations and capital projects, I want to collaborate with business and development leaders in each community in Shelby County to pool our resources to lessen the burden on tax payers as much as possible. We have the opportunity to utilize the experiences of other school systems who have faced similar situations. Several school systems in Alabama have developed successful strategies to continue providing excellent quality of education while adding safe, top notch facilities to elevate the educational experience and community pride. I am confident THAT with leaders, businesses and citizens all working together this can be accomplished in Shelby County also.

For me, serving on the Shelby County Board of Education is most importantly about the opportunity to connect families, communities and teachers with school leaders. I want to be always be accessible to teachers and parents to learn their frustrations and victories. Our teachers and parents are on the "front lines." They daily see what is working and what needs to be addressed. They are our school system's greatest resource. I will promote transparency and open communication for constructive feedback for leadership. I will build on the encouragement of the Superintendent of Shelby County Schools to have parent involvement at every level. I will advocate for students, parents and educators. I will consistently stand for parental autonomy over children's health decisions. I will be vigilant in discerning curriculum content and programs being used in Shelby County Schools. I will be a voice for teachers, students and parents. Our public leaders are also public servants. Servant leadership requires an attitude of humility, compassion, courage and integrity. I will serve Shelby County Schools as a servant leader in an effort to rebuild the trust that seems to be lost in leaders across this nation, this state and this county.

In an era when common ground is uncommon, it's time we work together to utilize our resources on the local level within the home, classroom and community to impact change here in Shelby County. I have been given the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between families, educators and communities. I would be honored by your support to serve on the Shelby County Board of Education so we can be "better together."