Longtime Madison southside resident Maia Pearson announced her candidacy for Madison Metropolitan School Board on Monday in the heart of the south side at El Pastor Mexican Restaurant.
“The reason why I am going for the school board is that I really truly care about children. I have cared about children since I was a child,” Pearson told the crowd. “I have been volunteering, working at the Boys and Girls Club with some of the people here today making sure that the kids got what they needed to be successful.
“Me running for this seat is not just a personal endeavor but more so because I really want to make sure that the children of Madison have everything necessary,” she added.
Pearson is a revenue agent for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and owner of Sweet Sorrel, which provides culturally relevant greeting cards and art. Prior to that, she had worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
State Rep. Shelia Stubbs, the first African American from Dane County elected to the state Legislature and a fellow Madison Southsider, told the crowd at El Pastor all about why she is supporting Pearson.
“I have known Maia for many, many, many years. I know Maia’s mom and grandma. Maia is going to be a young lady who is going to be a change leader,” Stubbs said. “Maia has helped on my County Board campaign, my state [Legislature] campaign …. She’s knocked on doors. She is a mother of three children right here in south Madison. She grew up here.
“I know that Maia has what a lot of people are missing. Maia has integrity. That’s what we need right now. If you put your children in the hands of Maia, she will take care of those children,” Stubbs added. “And I know that Maya is going to work extremely hard to be our next school board member. I am endorsing Maia because she is going to be the best candidate for this seat and I will be with her every step of the way.”
Pearson is hoping to win the seat of Madison School Board member Kate Toews, who has announced that she won’t be seeking reelection after serving one term. If elected, Pearson would be the third-ever African-American woman on the school board.
Gloria Kirchoff, Pearson’s mom, told the crowd that Pearson is an alumnus of Madison schools including Randall Elementary, Wright Middle School and West High School.
“I went to the schools … I was raised here in South Madison. We have four generations here in South Madison. We truly love South Madison,” she said. “I am really excited about this moment for Maia and the school system.”
Pearson is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in international/global studies.
“I’m a firm believer that every child is special and that every child can succeed — all they need is for everyone to come with them to make sure that they grow,” Pearson said. “Being born and raised in south Madison, I’m a firm believer in community collaboration and making sure that the community comes together as a whole and really embraces our children here. I will definitely bring that piece to the school board.
“We really need to support our teachers and we need to bring more teachers of color into our schools because that really will help with our children being able to see people from different walks of life, to get to interact with different people and being able to be supported by different people,” she added. “That really widens their worldview.”