For OPS School Board
My name is Flint Harkness; I am running to serve you on the Omaha Public School Board of Education for Sub-District 7. My wife Shylo and I have lived in the Hanscom Park neighborhood for seven years now and have just been blessed with a new addition to our family, our son William. I am currently in my second year of teaching for Bellevue Public Schools. I teach in the behavioral skills program, which is designed to help at risk youth achieve academic success in an alternative setting. Prior to joining Bellevue Public Schools, I previously worked at Alpha School for seven years. This is a Level-3 behavioral school located in south Omaha, which serves as an alternative program for many Omaha-Metro School Districts. I am a proud graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a Bachelors in Secondary Education, a Masters in Secondary Education, and will graduate next year with endorsements in Educational Leadership and Special Education.
Why I’m running for OPS School Board
I wanted to take the time to briefly explain to you why I am running for OPS School Board. With myself not being native to Omaha, my wife guided our family towards the Hanscom Park/Field Club community to make our home and start our family. As we entrenched ourselves in the community and fell in love with the area, I also started to become more aware and concerned with the environment within some of the public schools my son would be attending in the future. There are many issues of concern, but to start, my campaign will address the following:
- The disconnect between the schools and the communities they surround
- The recruitment and retention of quality teachers, who are adequately prepared to deal with the challenges they may face in the classroom
- Analyze and evaluate the current status of Omaha Public Schools financials, including the pension plan, where I believe our representatives have not shown to be quality stewards of our public funds
I feel that my background and experience will give me the tools to find solutions and strategies to these problems. I will emphasize making great policy over playing political games. We have an opportunity right now to build upon the incredible things going on within our community and merging these ideas with the schools. As we enter a new decade and are faced with new challenges, I would love the opportunity to earn your trust and support to navigate this process.
Leadership OPS Needs Right Now
Being part of a community comes with a sense of belonging. This is something Flint has always felt he missed out on growing up. Flint’s father, an educator, frequently moved his family in search of career opportunities and satisfaction. By the time he graduated high school, Flint had the opportunity to experience six different school districts in Nebraska. It is the admiration he has for his father, as well as his own experiences, that sparked Flint’s passion for education.