The Homewood City Council has recently appointed Pastor David Thompson as a member of the Homewood Board of Education for Ward 3.
Thompson said he’s looking forward to supporting students and administrators and making sure students “feel heard.”
“I think one of the unique qualities I have is the relationships that I have with students, the community and with teachers and faculty,” Thompson said. “I’ve been here 17 years, and I’ve always been involved with the schools in some way, and I think that’s a unique quality that I can bring. I want to be able to bring the students’ voices into the meetings.”
Thompson got his passion for education from his family, he said. His mother was a teacher and his father was a principal.
He said he loves to give back to communities that have had a positive impact on his life, sports being one of them.
He represented the U.S. as an athlete in Olympic sports and later served on the Athletes’ Advisory Council for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation for two years, he said.
After the most recent Olympics, he decided to search for another board on which he could serve that could make an impact on his life, he said.
“Homewood is a great community that supports its schools and our students,” Thompson said. “Our students have an opportunity to excel in a variety of different ways in the classroom, in athletics and also in the arts. All of these are equally emphasized amongst the school system. No matter what your child is interested or gifted in, they have a place to really grow and develop in whatever that is in Homewood schools, and I think that’s something that we should continue to celebrate here in our community.”
Thompson said he plans to use his years of experience with children as well as his 17 years of experience with the school system to contribute to the Board of Education.
An important issue he wants to address within the school system isn’t specific to Homewood, he said. Someone told him about an article they read that said school systems across the country have trouble keeping teachers, with close to 50% of teachers leaving schools within three years.
“I think that is a challenge, … but I think there’s an opportunity to help our educators feel supported and heard,” Thompson said. “I think that’s something we have to continue to pay attention to.”
Thompson said his main goal is to make sure students, educators and administrators are given a voice.
“Helping students feel known and cared for and feel like they have a place is an important core principle for me,” he said. “I’ve dedicated most of my life to that and making sure that those students have a place to feel heard. I’m looking forward to that in this capacity of how, through education and through the school system, we can make students feel like there is a place for them, no matter what they are going through or want to study.”