for Mukilteo School Board
My commitment to public schools began as a child living in public housing in South San Francisco, attending schools that served children mostly living in poverty and from diverse backgrounds.
I am the oldest of nine kids. My dad put himself through college and medical school, while supporting our family as a door-to-door salesman. When he graduated, I was in third grade, old enough to have a sense of the sacrifice and hard work for him and us, his family, and to know what an achievement it was. Those times formed my thinking about the value of public education for all kids and the need to respect and to encourage their success in school.
After college, I was accepted into a program at Claremont Graduate School of Education designed to prepare teachers to work with minority kids in low-income schools. We picked grapes with field workers and their families, lived in their neighborhoods, volunteered and taught in their schools, experiencing at least some of the struggles they confronted daily. For two years, it was life-altering.
Then the real world happened. Optimism met reality when I came to realize public schools did not always support the dreams of the kids I had been preparing to teach. I learned that where I could make a difference was in the classroom, one student at a time.
Many years later, these early experiences influenced my decision to run for the school board. It was, at last, an opportunity to advocate for an equitable education for all students.
Priorities & Principles
Students are at the center of all district activities. I believe each child can achieve high academic standards when we focus on individual abilities and needs. My responsibility as a school board member is to help help align our resources to support student instruction and social and emotional well-being. I am committed to partnering with parents, staff, and the community and building trust through respectful and open communications to navigate this essential work.
Academic Success for Every Student
This reflects the mission statement of the Mukilteo School District, but our work needs to become even more intentional as our students return to classrooms after the pandemic. We must meet the challenge of re-engaging our students and inspiring them to meet their academic goals.
Safe & Healthy
More than providing safe and healthy facilities, the District, partnering with students, staff, families, and the community, has multiple resources available to meet our students’ social and emotional needs. For instance, as a way to create universal access to essential student and family support, there is a “Need Help?” button on the tool bar of the district and every school website. This button leads to links for crisis and mental health lines and housing and food resources. Links will be continually updated in response to needs and availability of resources.
Transparent and Open Communication
One of the few silver linings of the pandemic was the opportunity to use technology to connect through online forums and meetings. One could attend without needing transportation or a baby-sitter. Most importantly, it allowed us to get away from top-down sharing and become proactive in gathering community input. These conversations have given those attending the chance to share challenges and expectations. We asked: “What do you need?” and “How can the District help?” The responses we received have led to meaningful changes in District services.
Rigorous academic standards and support for student success
Fiscal oversight and accountability
Building trust through mutual respect and personal visibility
During my time on the School Board, I’m proud and grateful to have worked with educators, students, parents, and the community, to bring out the best in Mukilteo Schools. Here are some examples:
I am grateful to have earned the support of those in Mukilteo who share in a commitment to education.