I Believe In…
Safe Re-Opening of Our Campuses - I support a progressive, measured roll out toward in-person learning with provisions for students who need or want to continue virtual learning. This roll-out must place a strong emphasis on mental health and other support mechanisms to help students navigate the emotional, physical, and academic hardships they are undoubtedly experiencing. I believe that mental health, social connections, and physical safety are critical aspects of academic success. Special Education and students with specialized needs are back on campus. Knowing the complexity of forming learning cohorts for large public schools with different demographics and funding sources than private schools, I think the next logical step is to work towards bringing clubs, sports, and other extra-curricular activities onto campus. This is especially important as they provide that social interaction that or kids want and need.
Fair, Balanced, and Transparent Communication - As we experience one of the most unusual school years in recent history with our children live-streaming their classes from their bedrooms or kitchen tables after seven months of quarantining due to COVID-19 restrictions, communication has never been more important. With a degree in English from UCLA, I am an effective communicator with a dedicated history of transparency and commitment to students. As the Board Chairman of a national philanthropy, I have over 20 years of advocacy experience - everything from championing a wide range of academic programs inside the classrooms all the way to protecting children’s health in Washington D.C. I intend to use that same passion and voice for ALL our students and help our district work toward more clear, consistent modes of communication. Already, I have joined forced with another district candidate and formed a platform (Facebook Group: STEP UP for SDUHSD - Students, Teachers, Experts & Parents United Productively for SDUHSD). This single goal of this platform is to provide positive, respectful accurate, and interactive communication that is open to all members of the community. I remain committed to honest, transparent discussions that acknowledges all perspectives. That is the only way we can best figure out our shared goals and work together toward supporting our children.
District-wide Collaboration - I am extremely proud to be endorsed by the San Dieguito Faculty Association (SDFA), along with many other local education and community leaders. Our teachers are dedicated, compassionate, and creative, and having their endorsement means that they believe I will work collaboratively with them for the best outcomes for our students. To be clear, I have not accepted, nor will I accept, direct financial contributions from any union or special interest group. All of my contributions have come solely from personal donations. And all my signs and campaign materials have been purchased through those funds. That being said, SDFA purchases campaign materials (signs and flyers) to advertise their support of candidates and/or propositions on the ballot. As their endorsed candidate for Area 2 Trustee, I am a beneficiary of that support. All support offered in-kind by SDFA is publicly disclosed.
Social Justice - I believe in equality for all students, and therefore I have met with the local student-run E4E group several times and have engaged in conversations with their adult leaders. After my first meeting with them, I released a joint statement with another SDUHSD candidate:
“As candidates running for SDUHSD School Board, our shared objective is to be strong supporters and advocates for all students. Last night, we joined forces to attend an Encinitas 4 Equality zoom meeting. We listen to their ideas, asked questions, and learned more about ways our community can put an end to bias, inequality, and/or discrimination of any kind. We not only appreciate the opportunity to start important discussions with the students of E4E, but also work collaboratively with another candidate who values the same ideals. We both firmly reject acts of hate or inequality of any kind. As parents ourselves, we stand in strong support of all students’ ability to have a safe, secure, and inclusive environment to thrive.”
I would like to add that I believe Black Lives Matter and acknowledge my own White Privilege. I stand in strong support of equality, especially voices led by this very impressive and committed group of students.
Strong Connections to our District - While all three of my children are recent graduates of LCC (Classes of 2019, 2017, and 2016), I am very much connected to and informed about our district as I still have family members currently enrolled in SDUHSD. Not having my own kids in SDUHSD allows me to put to use my decade of leadership and volunteer experience in SDUHSD as I continue to advocate for all kids, not just my own.