Why did you decide to run for the Coronado School Board and what qualities do you feel you offer the residents of Coronado?
My decision to run for the Coronado Unified School District was two-fold. First, I was approached by residents who thought my experience would make me I a solid candidate. Second, I decided to run through my own family’s experiences within CUSD.
The following are my specific concerns:
School curricula: The workforce, more than ever, needs well-educated and adept people who can communicate well, think critically and possess the practical and technical experience to hit the ground running after graduation. However, teaching initiatives, like Common Core, have caused confusion among students and parents. Additionally, there is a current movement within education to include subject matter that many parents feel is inaccurate, divisive and radical. Hence, we need topical, informed and accurate curriculum for the students in our district.
Students back into the classroom: With all of the uncertainty still surrounding Covid-19, there is no perfect solution for getting our children back into school. However, I initially believe a targeted hybrid model might be the best approach. This would involve focusing on Kindergarten, fifth grade, eighth grade and juniors and seniors in high school – since these are the critical transitional years. If this is successful, it would open the door for more grades to return. However, if infection numbers begin to rise, it would make it easier to pull students back in to distance learning.
Bullying in schools: Whether it manifests through racial intolerance, gender, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, one’s physical appearance or one’s disabilities - there must be a specifically outlined zero-tolerance policy to combat bullying in our district. Whether it is student to student or otherwise, we cannot and should not tolerate this behavior in Coronado’s schools.
Budget stability: It is crucial that the district manage its resources wisely until we get back to basic aid. For those who are not familiar with basic aid, a basic aid district is one whose local property taxes meet or exceed its revenue limit. Basic aid districts keep the money from local property taxes while still receiving constitutionally guaranteed state basic aid funding. Unfortunately, our current bond debt does not allow us to take advantage of our local property tax revenue. Until our debt is settled and our district can get back to basic aid, which will occur in the 2026/2027 school year, the district must, through creative and cost-effective measures, find ways to continue to fund our educational programs while maintaining the required 3% budget reserve. A good example of creative funding is the recent Navy Region Southwest and CUSD partnership through the lease of the CUSD’s Child Development Center. It is a solid collaboration that staves our budget dilemma while benefitting our community and our Navy families.
As for what I have to offer the students and residents of Coronado: Education has been an integral part of my professional background for over 30 years. For the past five years, I’ve served as a university professor, teaching Aviation Law, Corporate Law, Supply Chain Logistics, Safety Management Systems, Aerodynamics and, Unmanned Aerial Systems in Chicago. I have practical experience teaching STEM curriculum, and have worked as an educational consultant, developing curriculum for private industry and military programs. Likewise, my educational credentials are pertinent to the position for which I am running: a BS in Education from Southern Illinois University, an LL.B. Honors in Law from the University of Durham School of Law UK, an LL.M. in Comparative and International Law from the University of San Diego School of Law and, a Graduate Certificate in Airborne Global Information Grid architecture from Johns Hopkins University. I also have valuable legal, business, taxation and public accounting experience with E&Y, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin and Boeing IDS.
Finally, and most importantly, I am open-minded and will endeavor to listen to all sides of an argument. I am adept at understanding educational policies, analyzing legal issues and I have practical experience in budgetary matters as a university budget committee member. Public servants need to listen to and act upon what is important to their constituents and have the character to make rational, informed and sound decisions, particularly when faced with difficult and highly charged issues. I sincerely believe I meet that standard.
Thank you for your time and consideration.