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.
It’s been four years. Allow me to reintroduce myself. I grew up in New York, worked my way through school, moved to California and eventually earned a teaching credential from UC Berkeley.
I taught Adult Education in Hayward for 30 years, won the Adult Education State Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003, and retired from teaching in 2010.
As a mother of five, I spent 15 years volunteering in WCCUSD schools. I was actively involved in parent organizations, serving as President, Co-President, and Site Council Chair and on several Districtwide committees, including the Redistricting Committee, the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee and the Facilities Subcommittee. In 2005, I was Co-Chair of Measure J, which raised $400 Million to continue upgrading the District’s antiquated schools.
I successfully ran for WCCUSD School Board in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2014. As a teacher and parent leader, I brought a unique perspective to the School Board. I value the safety and security of our students and staff above all else. I have a thorough understanding of the resources and limitations that face our district.
On the School Board, I have been a hard worker and a consensus builder, with the ability to get things done:
- Led the fight to keep the District solvent during the most difficult budget period in recent history and despite losing state revenue.
- Preserved small class sizes, instructional time and adult education (things many other districts reduced or eliminated).
- Collaborated with cities to find additional funding to keep schools from closing
I’ve led efforts to increase student achievement, attack the achievement gap, bring technology to all our families, expand our arts and music programs and improve high school graduation and college acceptance rates districtwide.
I am especially proud of our recent accomplishments:
- Historic increase in our teachers’ (and staff) salaries – moving them from the bottom to the top of Contra Costa school districts – to increase recruitment and retention of experienced, talented teachers in every classroom
- Increased our teachers’ professional development and coaching supports
- Improved academic performance
- Increased college acceptance rates
- Increased high school graduation rates
- Increased the rate of English Learner students becoming proficient in English
… but there is still much more to do!
Increase Student Achievement
We have a serious teacher shortage – both nationally and locally. I have pushed to expand our Career Pathways programs to include an Education Academy – focused on “growing our own” to address the local shortage. I believe experienced, committed, caring teachers are the key to achieving students.
Closing the Achievement Gap
In addition to great teachers, we need to continue our focus on the needs of the “whole child” - nutrition, health, before and after-school programs, and arts enrichment programs are needed to truly close the achievement gap.
I want to invest in programs that develop the community school model where students are supported by wrap-around support services available on the school site.
Safe, Secure, Supportive Schools
We need to continue reducing our truancy and absentee rates, while offering safe and secure school campuses – both physically secure and able to provide emotional support for all students – especially those who have suffered from trauma and bullying.
I respectfully ask for your vote to help me continue this work.