Ocean Metropolis Board of Schooling Candidate Catherine Panico Talks Points
Catherine and William Panico with their children from left, Avery (20), Paige (18), Marin (17) and 13-year-old Brooke with their family dog Buddy. (Courtesy photo by Catherine Panico)
FROM MADDY VITALE
Ocean City’s Catherine Panico is the local business owner and married mother of four.
She is also a certified teacher who wants more transparency on the education committee.
Panico, 50, is running in the November 2nd election. There are 11 candidates competing for three seats for three years.
How long have you lived in Ocean City?
We have lived in Ocean City for over 9 years. We moved to Ocean City especially because of the good schools.
Do you have children in the district or were they in the district?
We have two daughters who graduated from Ocean City High School and are now in college. We have an eighth grader in middle school and an upper grade in high school.
What role do you and your husband play in the business world?
My husband, William Huntley Panico, DMD, and I expanded our family dentist practice in Ocean City (panicodental.com) in 2019. We were welcomed by Dr. When approached Albert Porreca, a trusted professional who has been an integral part of the community, takes over his practice and cares for his patients. We are very excited to be in Ocean City, making a positive impact, and engaging with members of the community.
Why are you running for the school board?
Transparency, accountability and cohesion. I want to give the stakeholders a voice. Research shows that communication between school and parents is necessary for student success.
Too often parents feel left out. Taxpayers also want to know how their dollars are being spent. Schools were once a source of pride and collaboration taking advantage of everything our community has to offer.
Now it seems like decisions are being made behind closed doors and communicated in ways that those who are not in training cannot understand. Things like the budget, the allocation of resources and the design of the curriculum must be communicated publicly. I want to take responsibility and supervision.
Our children don’t have lobbyists or unions pushing their agenda. They have parents and carers who want to be partners in raising their children.
An effective curriculum must ensure that all students have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to meet state-set standards and conform to Ocean City’s educational standards.
This should be a priority and free from political bias. We need to build cohesion among board members, parents, and the community. I think this is one of the most important things we have to do as a community.
Ocean City is a special place and a great place to start a family. We must band together to do things in the best interests of these children. We must work together to ensure that all of our children’s needs are met and that we prepare them for success.
What do you hope to do if you are elected and what do you think is / is currently not on the board?
I feel that there is a lack of transparency, communication and unity between board members and the community at large.
According to the National Education Association, “When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to get better grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and opt for programs higher level. ”(May 6, 2016).
Personally, I think money matters should also be public and visible to stakeholders.
If I am elected, I will align the curriculum with values in our community while complying with government mandates. I will see that the money is spent wisely and that the children are given a strong foundation.
For example, what can we do with the resources we already have to improve our graduation rate and the number of students entering college?
What would you like to change / achieve, new programs, a different way of dealing with the COVID pandemic?
The pandemic has changed the way we think about education, including the role of technology and distance learning. It has expanded access for students and given parents a window into the classroom. There are some things that the school system has done well, including expanded access to college credits and some things that we need to work on as a district.
One thing is for sure, the goal is to work and work with parents and the community to provide these children with a path forward. For example, meaningful career experiences can be nurtured by building relationships with joint ventures.
Additionally, we need to bridge the void in our public relations work through technology, art, and history to restore respect for one another.
Have you ever been in office or do you have something else in your background that you think would be suitable as a board member? Do you work or have you worked in education?
I am a certified PE teacher for grades K-12 and have spent my entire adult life working with children. I have coached, taught, and volunteered in many roles, and I still teach religion classes, mostly to middle school students preparing for Confirmation.
I am also a small business owner and a mother of four. Hope to be a member of the Ocean City Board of Education soon.
Do you think there is more interest in making Ocean City a better place for students, parents, and the business community at large to live as both a community business owner and a resident?
Absolutely! Good, effective schools empower students, empower educators, and improve the community. I’ve met so many people who want to make Ocean City a better place for everyone. We agree on this front, and maybe that’s why so many are running for the education committee.
Support my candidacy by sharing this on Facebook and voting for me on November 2nd.
Here is the list of candidates for the November 2nd election approved by the school district on Thursday:
Dale F. Brown Jr.
Henry (Disston) Vanderslice
Three incumbents, H. James Bauer, Jacqueline McAlister and Suzanne Morgan, are standing for re-election.