When San Ramon Valley Unified College District Administrator Ken Mintz, who has served on the board since 2009, introduced that he wouldn’t run once more, it opened up a board seat…and a possibility.
Jerome Pandell, Michelle Petersen and Jesse vanZee are vying to signify SRVUSD Zone 1, which incorporates Alamo, elements of Blackhawk and Danville, and the small portion of Walnut Creek within the district.
All three candidates have admirable property and would serve with dedication, however solely vanZee guarantees to convey the unbiased considering and alter this board wants.
Incumbents Susanna Wong Ordway (Zone 4) and Rachel Hurd (Zone 5) have been unopposed for re-election. The uncontested races are disappointing in some ways, particularly because the present council is an excessive amount of consistent with the desires and whims of the administration. They haven’t any qualms about spending cash that does not immediately profit the schooling of all college students, regardless of warnings from the Contra Costa County Workplace of Schooling (CCCOE).
On Oct. 18, the district launched particulars of its new settlement with the lecturers’ union, the San Ramon Valley Schooling Affiliation, which would come with an 8.5% wage enhance retroactive to July 1 and a one-time cost of 1% based mostly on every union. member’s wage as of November 1.
The CCCOE projected elevated spending within the district of $18,343,948, which it stated the district can afford if its common day by day attendance (ADA) and income assumptions materialize as projected. If these are decrease than anticipated, “the district might must plan to make up any shortfall.”
The district was additionally inspired to be “prudent in its spending and conscious that any additional negotiated settlements might trigger the district to think about implementing further reductions.”
Recruiting and retaining high quality lecturers is crucial to offering college students with a top quality schooling. “Fairness Liaisons,” which the district spent about $2 million to rent for this faculty yr, should not a necessity. But the present board voted unanimously to spend that cash, which isn’t “prudent”.
Along with non-essential bills, the council too typically tends to disregard the considerations of oldsters. The California highschool mascot debacle and the “uncomfortable” ladies within the San Ramon Valley highschool locker room are two current examples.
We under no circumstances deny that racist and homophobic incidents have occurred on SRVUSD campuses. However when dad and mom’ solely choice is to report it to council and fogeys are instructed they’re at fault, they and their kids are racist and/or anti-LGBTQ and the “specialists” within the district know what’s greatest for his or her kids, which causes division, mistrust and anger.
The one faculty district in Tri-Valley experiencing these troubling points on this scale is SRVUSD. A change is subsequently vital.
vanZee, a district mother or father, faculty volunteer, and vice chairman of a corporation that operates most cancers remedy facilities, has the district data and organizational management expertise the district wants now. He additionally has the independence and spine to problem the established order, be a voice for fogeys, and push again when warranted.
He stated he needs parental involvement and transparency to return to the college board, to re-emphasize core teachers, faculty security and monetary accountability to “be certain that restricted price range funds go to college students and lecturers within the school rooms”.
Legal professional Pandell is searching for election to the SRVUSD board for the second time, following a 2014 marketing campaign and several other years of professional bono and fundraising work with the district. Alumnus of SRVUSD, Pandell served from 2015-2021 on SRVUSD’s Amenities Oversight Advisory Committee, which critiques and offers suggestions to the Board of Administrators on tasks and expenditures associated to bond-funded tasks.
Pandell has expertise and data of the district, and we notably admire his work on the advisory committee. We’re simply not satisfied it could supply the unbiased considering and the means to make the choices on our personal that we desperately want.
Petersen can also be an energetic mother or father and volunteer within the district. She is a retired firefighter and presently works as a company occasion planner.
Whereas serving as PTA president at her kid’s faculty for 3 years, Petersen “handled hiring a brand new principal, closing the college as a result of COVID, and returning to in-person studying. She presently serves on the San Ramon Council of the PTAs as an envoy for the sister faculty.
She lists wellness applications that tackle the stress and anxiousness college students and workers face, tutorial excellence, and security – each bodily and social-emotional – amongst her prime priorities.
Petersen stated she thinks SRVUSD is a vacation spot district recognized for educational excellence, and we agree. Nonetheless, she stated “funding challenges cut back that,” and we do not settle for that funding is the problem, however how these funds are spent.
It’s heartening to listen to Petersen imagine that the voice of oldsters is crucial, however inferred in a press release to our editorial board that she could be the one one to voice these views, as a substitute of listening to immediately from dad and mom.
It also needs to be famous that Petersen mentions his political celebration in some communications. A trustee place on an area faculty board is non-partisan – and needs to be. Bringing political celebration affiliation into the dialog is divisive, and this district, this council, and this group should work towards larger unity, no more discord.
We advocate vanZee for zone 1.