Why do you want to continue as a Trustee on the Fremont Board of Education?
Fremont Unified School District is in the middle of significant change. We need board members who know the issues and who are ready to perform on day one. Curriculum is changing. We have significant pressures on our school facilities and limited resources with which to accomplish an unprecedented educational shift that will impact our students and district for years to come. I have the knowledge and the drive to do the job that is required.
What do you believe are the most important qualities for a School Board Member to possess?
- A love of children
- Experience in education in general and our school district in particular
- An ability to understand the complexities of budgets and state statutes
- The time and the desire to make a difference for students
If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities?
- INNOVATION – A child born today will retire in 2077. I want to be sure that we are preparing all of our students for work in a 21st Century Global Economy. We can’t know what they will need to know but we do know that they will need to be flexible and creative in order to be an invaluable asset wherever they work.
- ADVOCACY – FUSD lost more than $90 million dollars in anticipated funding during the economic downturn. The board of education needs to be meeting with the community, local businesses and our legislators to find ways to bring additional resources in to our district.
- FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY – During a time when resources are scarce, we need to be prudent on how we are spending. The additional funds we were able to negotiate for facilities and programs must be spent wisely to fairly address the needs of all of our students and not squandered.
An exceptional education sounds good but what does that mean and why do you emphasize “ALL”?
An exceptional education means that teachers are able to build lesson plans taking in to consideration, not only state educational standards, but also who is walking in to their classroom each day. Not all children learn in the same way or have the same support at home. Teachers need to have the tools necessary to meet the needs of ALL of their students.
Over the last four years we have been able to equalize our school sites. Parents now realize that they can have their children attend any Fremont school and they will receive an exceptional education. However, a challenge within our school sites remains. There is currently a teacher shortage and we have recently had a number of school administrators retire. Our new challenge is to make sure we are a desirable district so we can attract the best teachers and administrators so that ALL of our students continue to receive an inspiring education every day.
How will you secure adequate funding?
When I was first elected in 2012, I promised to secure adequate funding by educating our electorate and lobbying elected officials. I have gone above and beyond what I promised.
- As a member of the Measure E campaign, we educated voters on our dire facility needs and were successful passing a $600 million dollar school facility bond. As Co-Chair of the Measure I campaign, we convinced the community to continue to be our partners and help fund necessities like school libraries and classroom technology.
- I traveled to Sacramento with a team from FUSD and Dublin USD on numerous occasions over the last 9 months to convince legislators and the State Allocation Board (SAB) that we should be allowed to charge higher developer fees. In May, in an unprecedented action, the SAB agreed. Though the lobbyist for the California Builders Industry Association (CBIA) has been successful in putting in place a temporary injunction, we believe that in the end we will prevail and be allowed to collect more from local builders to help mitigate the growth we are seeing in Fremont.
- I spent over a year in regular meetings with a team from FUSD, the City of Fremont, and local developers hammering out a mitigation agreement to build our first new Elementary School in almost 25 years – paid for by the developers. I was also part of the negotiating team from FUSD who met with the Patterson Ranch developers and State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Torlakson. We were successful in reaching an agreement that will bring an additional $7.5 million dollars to FUSD for a new classroom wing.
It is my intention to continue these efforts to benefit Fremont Schools. I enjoy meeting with our legislators and with our local business partners and trying to find reasonable solutions that will benefit our students. I have the time and the desire that is required to make this effort on our children’s behalf.
With your vote on November 8th, I will be able to continue this important work.