Sarah May has invested herself in helping Union County Public Schools since 2007. Now, she wants to go deeper and serve as an at-large member on the school board.
“I want to be involved,” May said. “It’s a successful school system. I feel like I can contribute to that success because I really have a passion for children and having their education be top-notch.”
Though May’s professional background is not in education, she has been involved with several schools in the county since her family moved to Wesley Chapel 13 years ago.
May served as the committee chair for the parent-teacher association at her daughter’s elementary, middle and high schools. She then started getting involved with other schools throughout the county, volunteering weekly at Sun Valley High and Walter Bickett Elementary. She currently volunteers at East Elementary and is helping the school get its PTO program on its feet.
Seven years ago, she began attending all school board meetings to get informed on the issues facing UCPS.
“That’s just my heart,” May said. “That’s what I really like to do and put my time into wherever it’s needed. I just jump in and get involved.”
May does not see many major challenges facing UCPS, but she wants to help improve what is already being worked on.
She is particularly invested in teacher retention and pushing for career-technical education for students who are not on the traditional college path.
“I’d love to see the CTE work with local companies in the area,” May said. “What if they could have 100% job placement when they graduate? The whole point is that we just want our kids to grow up and be successful, functioning adults, whatever path they take to get there. I just like that there’s a variety of offerings, and they’ve really been pushing this year to get the word out that there are all of these great programs.”
Additionally, she wants to continue the push for social and emotional learning. May believes this will help students grow holistically and develop strong relationships.
One of her biggest goals is to increase involvement in UCPS.
“I really would like to see involvement in schools, not just from families, but from community organizations and businesses and see everybody working together,” May said. “I know that there’s all these groups that would like to, so I think expanding on that would be great.”
May understands that high-quality education draws many families to Union County, so she wants to keep making sure every school’s needs are met.
May said she is making an effort to research and learn about the diverse needs of UCPS so she can best serve as an at-large member on the board.
“Equitable offerings across the board for the entire county would be something that I know they constantly are working on,” May said. “That’s always a challenge because it is very diverse, and so, what works at one school may not necessarily the best for another school.”
Immersing herself in the school system, working with a hands-on approach and getting involved are qualities May believes separate her as a candidate for the at-large seat.
“I dive right into whatever I’m trying to learn about or devote my time to, so I feel that I would just be very thorough and just put 120% into the position,” May said. “In the past, they’ve had a couple openings where they had to fill a seat and I put my name in them too because I felt like I could contribute positively. It’s a passion of mine that has evolved over the years.”
Though she does not have a campaign website or social media page yet, she plans to create one in the future. In the meantime, May is trying to meet as many people as possible to discuss the issues they care about when it comes to their schools.
She hopes her dedication to the position and the schools shines through as she continues to campaign.
“I just have such a passion for this and feel like I could be a strong contribution to the school system,” May said.