I'm running because Mountain View-Whisman, with its unique resources, should be a leading model on the future of schooling.
Mountain View can do better.
Below are some examples of how Mountain View can lead. My experience is not as a district parent, but as a sixteen-year veteran educator with direct experience working at exemplary schools including the Khan Lab School, Arcadia Unified, Fremont Union, NYCDOE, Sacred Heart, and Hillbrook School.* I was awarded Teacher of the Year at two of these schools. I bring direct experience of what is possible in education.
As an educator, I commit to every MVWSD family equally. Zip code and income should not determine the future of our children.
*the schools listed are where I proudly worked; they do not represent endorsements by these institutions.
You served once on the board, what did you accomplish?
I served as board president, vice president, and clerk. If you elect me, you get someone who starts this role, day one, with a strong understanding of how the board and district operate; someone who can tell when things are typical or atypical; and someone that knows how to make changes via board policy.
We opposed funding on projects far removed from the classroom like the building of a new district office.
We spearheaded the focus on healthy food in the district. With the leadership of the entire district team, we canceled our Sodexo contract, built professional kitchens, and hired a district chef to produce fresh food.
40 million students use free Mountain View-based Khan Academy, yet the district spent half a million dollars, only then to shut down, its own personalized math program. I created the Khan Lab School's first middle school program. Personalized learning tools, like Khan Academy, were never meant to be the main course of instructional time, but to liberate instructional time for more dynamic learning like project-based learning (PBL).
Keys to Local STEM Careers
If MVWSD has $1.2 million to give an executive home loan, it can afford to hire a district CS/STEM director and more CS/STEM teachers. For years, MVWSD parents, local industry volunteers, and I ran district-wide startup competitions at Crittenden Middle School. As a board member, I believe it is a moral duty to ensure that MV's socio-economically disadvantaged students have the skills to access the jobs in their own hometown if they so choose.
The single metric that matters to me most in MVWSD is SEL. Social-emotional learning (SEL) has been central to my career. I began learning RULER SEL and meditation at Columbia University with Dr. Marc Brackett and Dr. Robin Stern. I have since continued my SEL work through certifications in Responsive Classroom, Developmental Design, and Dr. Tal-ben Shahar's Maytiv Center. MVWSD should pilot and adopt a district-wide SEL program. With COVID-19, SEL+trauma-informed education will be my priority as a board member.
Social-Emotional Learning is Priority #1
MVWSD needs to reevaluate the central position they place testing technology, especially during remote learning. As a board member, I expect MVWSD to provide the same dynamic instruction as any other leading school. The 1-1 laptops that are the result of this current crisis are the perfect tools to engage students in more creating rather than consuming.
Experience Matters in a Crisis
Remote teaching March to June, leading a pilot on in-person hybrid teaching this summer, and now teaching remotely again, teachers see a disconnect from the challenges they and parents face and the leaders making the decisions that affect their lives.