The ballot for the Calistoga Joint Unified School District Board is set for Nov. 3 with President Julie Elkeshen and Board Members Matt Reid and Mark Galindo running for re-election. Also running are Stephanie Rothberg-Allan and Rudy Gonzalez. Here is what they said about why they are seeking office.
After careful consideration I have decided to seek re-election as Calistoga Joint Unified School District Trustee. I am proud of the progress made in student support and policies over the past four years, but there is more to do. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the inequities of the students in our district. My wish is to continue to serve district families by advocating for our kids to receive the best education possible during these uncertain times. I feel our District could do more in regards to equality and equity for all students. Academic achievement gaps continue to exist in our District. I believe closing these academic achievement gaps is the greatest challenge facing CJUSD today. District transparency and accountability, improved academic achievement, expanded CTE opportunities for our students, Twenty-First Century facilities in both education and athletics; these are all areas that would help make our District more equitable for our students.
As the father of a sixth-grader, I know that our children deserve advocates who will make sure they are learning at their highest level, even when it’s online and at the kitchen table. In my first term as a Board Trustee, I helped select our new superintendent, Erin Smith-Hagberg, who is transforming our Calistoga schools into a model for education. This is just one foundational step, and so much more must be done. In addition to being disaster proof, we want our students to be career- and college-ready. To get there we need more change, along with the dedication of long-serving teachers and an influx of excellent new teachers. I expect more from Erin and her team, and I hope that you will support me as I run for a second term to ensure that our next steps hit an equally high mark. With your support I look forward to continuing to serve as a Board Trustee. I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, questions, and criticism.
I was born and raised in Lake County, where I graduated from high school, before moving to the East Coast for college. My husband and I moved to Calistoga in 2013 and I am currently a practicing attorney in Santa Rosa. I have one daughter who started kindergarten in August at Calistoga Elementary. Last year, I was appointed as the Calistoga member of the Napa County Library Commission. Serving my community as a library commissioner has been very rewarding and now that my daughter attends school in Calistoga, I am hoping to serve the Wildcat community. As a graduate of a small public high school who successfully navigated both college and law school and now as the parent of a child (with two working parents), I can offer a unique perspective on the challenges facing both young parents and students. By joining the Board of Trustees, I look forward providing solutions to these issues while helping students gain the skills necessary to achieve independence and success in the future.
Julie Elkeshen and Rudy Gonzalez could not be reached for comment.
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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or email@example.com.
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