On November 6th we will have a chance to use the full weight of the electoral process to determine who will be the next Governor of California and our representative in the US Senate. There will be numerous state propositions, a race to serve in the State Assembly, three positions on the Richmond City Council, the Richmond Mayoral race as well as the State Superintendent of Education.
As important as these are, here in West County there is also a critical race being contested for three seats on the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Board of Education.
Radio Free Richmond has extended an offer to all eleven candidates for the Board to post their own words to let you, the voters, know their positions on what they believe to be the important issues.
The candidates have also been invited to post guest editorials on the issues of importance.
RFR will post a new candidate statement every couple of days.
Patricio Dujan is a former teacher and an education leader running for the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) Board of Education. As a father with two children in WCCUSD public school and a Latino immigrant, Patricio understands how critical a strong public school system is for all students and families.
Patricio came to the United States in the first grade knowing no English. His family left Argentina due to the military dictatorship in the 1970s. His parents gave up their careers as a teacher and school principal to start anew so that their children could have a brighter future. The family settled in the Los Angeles area where Patricio and his two siblings attended public schools. Thanks to the support at home and by amazing California public school teachers, Patricio and his siblings achieved the family’s American dream – attending UC Berkeley, earning graduate degrees, and having successful careers.
After attending UC Berkeley, jobs and graduate school took Patricio to the East Coast and to various parts of California. In 2011 Patricio and his wife Gabrielle chose to settle in El Cerrito to raise their two daughters. They always knew that they wanted to come back to the area. Patricio is involved in the community through youth soccer, the Washington Elementary Parent Teachers Association and volunteering at school events.
Patricio has devoted his career to education by first teaching in urban, high poverty schools and then by working with educators to improve student learning. He works with school Superintendents and education leaders across the country to implement best practices and improve district outcomes. He has focused on developing teachers and helping students overcome tremendous challenges at school and at home – much like the challenges that we face at WCCUSD.
The district data shows some disturbing numbers:
90% of African-American students are not proficientin math.
70% of third graders read belowgrade level.
60% of graduates are notcollege and career ready.
70% of English Language Learners are not reclassifiedby sixth grade.
Despite these challenges, Patricio knows that we can improve our schools for students and families. He strongly believes that our community deserves better results. He has the experience and expertise in working with districts with similar challenges. As a board member he would focus on:
- prioritizing the needs of students and families
- evidence-based professional learning for teachers
- developing leaders and change school culture
- strong oversight of the district budget.
With two daughters attending the Dual Language Immersion program at WCCUSD public schools, Patricio knows how important a world-class education is to families and the community. He wants to fight every day to develop excellence in our schools and make WCCUSD a district that is the pride of our community.
Patricio humbly asks for your support, your voice and your vote on November 6th.
To learn more you can visit Patricio4Kids