Application for Congressional Commission for Lacey Taschdjian

Contact Information

Full Name

Lacey Taschdjian

Other Names
Lacey Mueller

Eligible for commission

eligible

Party Affiliation

Democrat

Occupation

2005- Current: 8th Grade Math Teacher- Adams City Middle School, Adams 14 school district

Educational Background

High School diploma- Bear Creek High School 1997 Bachelor's of Science- Major: Mathematics University of CO 2003 Master's of Arts- Mathematics Curriculum and Instruction: University of CO 2005

Zip Code

80003

Congressional District
7

Background

Past Political Activity

In my capacity as the Political Action Chair for my local teacher's association, School District 14 Classroom Teacher's Association, I participated in interviews from CO House and Senate candidates seeking recommendation from the Central Adams Uniserv- the directing body of Adams12, Adams14, Brighton, and Mapleton public schools, this summer. In 2019, I participated in candidate interviews for the Adams14 Board of Education. Acting as an individual, this past election I volunteered in campaigning for Karla Esser for CO State Board of Education, Dafne Michaelson Jenet for CO House of Representatives, and Paula Dickerson for CO State Senate. My tasks included writing post cards, phone banking, and doing literature drops on homes. I was a petition carrier for both Proposition 73 in 2019 and Fair Tax Colorado, Initiative 271, in 2020. I also volunteered with a grassroots organization called Neighbors Helping Neighbors to the Polls to provide delivery of ballots to boxes for voters lacking access to transportation. In 2018 and 2019, I campaigned for candidates for our local Board of Education via phone banking and post card writing. I have made donations to the following campaigns: Joseph Biden Beto O'Rourke.

List of Political and Civic Organizations belonged to

National Education Association Colorado Education Association School District14 Classroom Teacher's Association SD14 CTA Executive Board as Political Action Chair Colorado Commissioner of Education's Teacher Cabinet Coloradans For the Common Good (formerly Industrial Areas Foundation) CUPC- Community Uniting for Positive Change (Parent/teacher/community member organization in my school district) ACLU

Organization and Advocacy Experience

I am a teacher in Commerce City. I am passionate not only about the work I do, but the community in which I am honored to serve. Adams14 is the first full district mandated to External Management by the CO Board of Education due to low performance on state assessments. During the 2018-19 school year, our district stakeholders were tasked to choose an External Manager from 5 competing entities: 4 private, 1 public. I was active in organizing educators and community members to be a part of the process every step of the way and to provide a recommendation that was based on what was best for the students of Adams14. I am proud to represent Adams14 as a first-year member in a two year appointment to the Commissioner of Education's Teachers Cabinet. In this position, I see it as my roll to advocate for all schools on Turn Around, including individual schools in other districts. In 2019 and 2020, as a representative of my local Teacher's Association, I was elected to serve as a delegate at our annual state assembly. I was also elected to serve as a delegate, representing the Colorado Education Association, at the National Education Association's 2020 Delegate's Assembly. During these assemblies we vote and ratify New Business Items and elect executive board members. Currently, I am working with a community group organizing in response to the allocation of funding from the settlement of fines to Commerce City from the Suncor Oil Refinery. We have been brainstorming and developing ideas for solutions that address both the long term and short term effects of frequent malfunctions from the plant. Additionally, I have been interviewing and working with representatives of the CDPHE where I employ my 15 years experience engaging my community to provide them feedback on communication, communication methods, and assure that access to engage is available to as many stakeholders as possible. As this is relatively infant (and has been delayed and complicated by Covid) I have been creatively organizing both residents and workers that commute to the area, to virtually participate in town halls and complete surveys from CDPHE.

Statement

As a student, a voter, and an early-year teacher, I never really understood how politics impacted education. As I began to mature in my career, I realized that politics not only affects education, it is the driving force of public education. Through this realization, I came to understand the importance and value of local elections. I would like to serve on the commission because I believe in ensuring equal and fair representation of all communities of Colorado. As an educator, I am committed to being a lifelong advocate for the young people in my classroom and I would like to extend that on a larger scale. My students will (hopefully) be voters in 4-5 years and the future of Colorado is in our classrooms right now. I have committed my entire career in service to a community that often goes unheard. I would be honored to have the opportunity to provide them, and the many other Coloradans like them, a voice.

Statement on Working with Consensus

In part of my work as a Teacher Leader, I have attended a multi-day CEA Leadership Conference for the last three summers (pre-Covid). During those conferences, I have attended sessions on conflict resolution and consensus making. As a teacher, those skills are essential daily when working with both adults and children. As educators, in order to meet our goals we must focus on solution-oriented problem solving and employ shared decision making. In order for that process to be successful, we must all commit to practicing empathy to reach agreement. In my classroom, I have between 25-40 13 and 14 year-olds at a time. They are pretty quick detectors of "unfair." My role as an educator requires impartiality and my audience rightly demands it. A decade ago, our district was found to be in violation by the Office of Civil Rights. Since that time, I have received continuous training in implicit bias, equity, and diversity and assure inclusion is a central part of my classroom and my teaching. Annually, I analyze student achievement data in order to identify any possible implicit biases or systemic inequalities within my classroom and my school/district respectively. It is my core belief that public institutions should serve the entire public.

Relevant Analytic Skills for Commission

As a mathematician, I have a strength in analytics, logic, and reason as they are the tools of our discipline. As a teacher of mathematics, especially in an underperforming district, I have a wealth of experience in research and critical thinking skills in data collection and analysis, including the components of evaluating correlation vs causation, root cause analysis, and differentiated response to data in my classroom, school, and district. In addition to the academic data I evaluate daily, I also monitor and problem solve middle school student behavior, which strengthens my skills in communication. In a community where many students have or had experienced trauma and/or are failing to have their basic needs met, there is a wide range of problems that find their way into my classroom with my students. Teaching over 140 students a year for the last 15 years, I have worked collaboratively to solve many different types of problems with many different types of people. This includes facilitating countless mediations amongst students and their peers, students and staff, and colleagues to resolve conflicts and rebuild and maintain productive working relationships.

Demographics

Racial categories the applicant identifies with:
Caucasian
Applicant identifies with the following gender

female