School board candidates speak at THRIVE Forum

Lee Anne Holland spoke with the four school board candidates to lay out their plans for the future of CVUSD at the THRIVE Forum on Sept. 30.

The four candidates were Lauren Gill (Area 5), Karen Sylvester (Area 1), Patti Jones (Area 1) and Sandee Everett (Area 5).

Gill focused partially on injustice in the district. “We have to address the justice gap that exists in our district and all districts, so we are providing the high quality we can to each and every student in our district,” Gill said. She also put a spotlight on the importance of unity. “Our schools are the one thing that we do together… what drives us in every circumstance is what is best for our children.”

When asked about her experience in bringing people together, Sylvester laid out her qualifications and how she learned from her experiences. “I spent 15 years as a management consultant…What I found is that there was often lots of conflict… but if you treat different people with different viewpoints respectfully, then you wind up with a better decision with all the people,” Sylvester said.

Jones emphasized the importance of believing in children with disabilities, and including them in as much as possible. “You never assume that a child cannot accomplish greatness,” Jones said, while speaking of her experience with a child with disabilities. Jones also spoke about the quality of literature in schools. “We want our kids to be exposed to the finest, best quality literature to make them empowered, resilient, strong learners,” Jones said.

A big part of Everett’s campaign is re-opening up schools as early as possible. In order to keep the school as safe as possible for the teachers, Everett believes that the district needs to hire more custodians for the schools. “Get those classes scrubbed down,” Everett said. “The teachers need to feel that we will protect them.” Everett expands on her thoughts about ELL students in the district. “There are some students who make it through our schools and cannot read when they are finished. When some of their inability to do certain skills are becoming more obvious, students need to have groups to make sure they are getting one on one reading attention,” Everett said. “They need to be empowered to achieve their dream and their goal,” Everett said.

All four candidates gave concluding remarks, summarizing their priorities and plans for schools in the district. The elections for the school board will take place on Nov. 3.

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