Four are vying for three spots in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education. While it appears that boundary changes for Dougherty Valley elementary schools are off the table, budget cuts, teacher's union negotiations and overcrowding are among the top issues facing the board. This week, we will post a candidate profile each day, in alphabetic order by last name.
Occupation/training: Special Projects Manager, CSU East Bay.
Residence: San Ramon
Previous elected positions and years of service in those positions: None.
Children in the district: None.
1. Why are you running and why would you be particularly effective?
My primary focus as a member of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District will be to make a positive difference as our community endeavors to maintain and improve the high quality to which we have become accustomed.
For the past two and a half years I've worked as a Special Projects Manager at CSU East Bay. I am aware of the budgetary problems that our schools face and the need that our community has to not only get students to college but through college.
In addition to working full time I've operated a small business helping local merchants market their services to the Tri-Valley Community and creating part-time jobs for students.
I am looking forward to serving our community on the SRVUSD Board of Directors.
2. What do you believe are the two most important issues facing the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and how would you deal with them?
The students and ensuring they are getting the proper resources to not only get to college but make it through college. My realization is that this starts in the primary grades and involves engaging parents to be an active participant in their child's development as a student from kindergarten to the time they graduate high school.
The main reason we have such great schools is because our parents and students care about education. Maintaining open lines of communication between students, parents, teachers, administrators and the taxpayer will ensure that we stay ahead of the curve.
3. What is your view regarding the performance of the current School Board and how, if at all, would you act differently?
The School Board has done a good job over the years that I was a student, but times are changing and the board should reflect the future of education. I am not a parent, teacher, nor between the ages of 35-55, and I have yet to serve on the PTA. But, I am a product of the local schools graduating from California High in 2003. I graduated debt-free from CSU East Bay with a B.S. in Business in 2007 and a MBA in 2010. I am a product of public education. It will be easier for me to relate to our students from their perspective. It is important to have fresh ideas so that our curriculum stays current with the times.
4. It is believed that cost reductions will be needed in the years ahead. How would you face these challenges?
I look at education as a product or service that the Government provides our students and families. If we look from a National perspective in comparison with other Developed Nations we are falling way behind. One of the greatest challenges of my generation will be producing a higher educated populous at a lower cost to the consumer, or taxpayer in this case. It is a great challenge and I look forward to being a part of the solution.
Education will follow the trends of business. We need to prepare our students to interact with each other and the teachers in ways that will enhance their development in the new era of technology. It will be reasonable in the near future for students to have kindles or iPads instead of textbooks, communicate via web conferencing on school projects, or have the opportunity to interact with pen pals via the web (Skype) for foreign language lessons.
As a leading school district in the area we can leverage some of these fresh ideas to many of the strong Silicon Valley companies along with some of the large corporations we have in our own backyard.
Creating partnerships with these companies will also open doors for our students to secure internships in high school and possible very good careers after college as well.