ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

  • Increased high school graduation rates. 
  • Increased college preparatory rates.
  • Developed new English Language learner program and significantly increased rates of English Learners reaching proficiency levels.
  • Passed essential financing to improve our campuses. Thank you voters for approving $229 million in bonds for the repair and improvement of your children’s schools. Those funds will provide:
    • District school improvements: Funds are financing the repair, renovate and modernize our school facilities.
    • Technology infrastructure improvement: All district networks and servers have been replaced and upgraded.
    • Teacher and student safety: Bond funds are paying for upgraded classroom locks and district-wide communication systems to better protect our students and teachers during times of crisis.
  • Kept more kids in school. We reduced student suspensions by 50 percent and expulsions by 80 percent by overhauling our district’s disciplinary policies and procedures and providing more child behavioral supports services and building positive communities on our campuses. We’re keeping more kids in school!
    • Keeping kids in school means disrupting the “expulsion to prison pipeline” that is unfortunately all too real.
    • Keeping kids in school for more days, for more hours, significantly improves educational outcomes.
    • Keeping kids in schools protects our funding
  • Provided compensation, support and training for our teachers and staff
    • Our professional development program was completely revamped to focus on differentiated instruction, data analysis, incorporation of technology and project-based learning, and to better teach our English Learner students, and to better prepare our classified staff for their work in a changing environment.
    • Despite increased strain on an already too small budget, we managed to improve our teachers’ compensation by 15% percent, their benefits from $0 to $6,800 a year, and our classified staff’s compensation by 12.5% with a 12.5% increase to their benefits packages.
    • We finally brought our administration salaries up to close to (but still under!) the average pay, so that we can attract the best educational leaders
    • Created new positions that support teachers in their efforts to focus on academics in the classroom, by engaging students’ families, and address the social-emotional needs of students.
  • Showed our students the way after graduation. We have opened new comprehensive college and career centers at each of our high schools, revamped our career pathways programs to ensure they are more engaging and relevant.
  • Created innovative college/career programs: I conceived of and spearheaded a new collaborative CTE  program with the CTE foundation that provides career training and exploration opportunities, followed by post-graduation paid internships where students get real experience and additional scholarship money for college or post-graduate technical training of their choice.
  • Created and Supported Bilingual education opportunities. We opened a Spanish/English Dual Immersion charter school in my first term that has grown and thrived, giving our students two fully bilingual opportunities in our district; French/English and Spanish/English.
  • Provided for Greater Educational Equity for all Students. I conceived of and drafted a new charter school admission policy that has doubled our students of color at the charter that were most segregated. We provided training and created new support positions with the specific goal of ensuring that Santa Rosa schools equitably provide all of our students with the education they need We wrote a strategic plan — with equity at the center — that drives all or our decision making.
  • Worked to Create a More Community- and Equity- Driven District and Impactful Strategic Partnerships.  We used robust community input to develop a new strategic plan and campus master planß during my first term, and then in my second term, we built on and revised that strategic plan to create a new Mission/Vision/Priorities (the MVP!). that  are  equity-driven, focus more specifically on the whole child, and include commitment by the board to take on additional responsibilities to seek out and advocate for additional funds.
  • Improved Fiscal Accountability and Efficiency. We performed extensive system and budget audits and used those findings to create new fiscal and staffing best practices.
  • Passed New and Equity-Driven Graduation Goals and Requirements. New were implemented in order to give access and opportunity to succeed in high level classes and a pathway to college and other post-secondary education for all students.  This move began to create the long-standing institutionally racist barriers in our district.
  • Committed to Ethnic Studies: in order to ensure that all students had access to a curriculum that honored their cultures, histories, and achievements, we committed to embedding Ethnic Studies throughout the curriculum and added an Ethnic Studies graduation requirement.
  • Responded Thoughtfully and Decisively to Disaster: I am proud of the responses that our district had to the 2017 Sonoma Complex Wildfires, the Kincaid Fires, the 2019 flood, and the ongoing challenges of smoke days, school shooting protests, and power shut offs.  I led the Board as president during this time and the Superintendent and I always made thoughtful  decisions that addressed not only the educational and mental health needs of our students, families, and staff, all the while addressing the impact to our facilities and budget.
  • Moved to District Elections: To ensure access, opportunity, and improve diversity and community representation on the Board, we moved from at-large elections to by-trustee areas. As a result, we have the most diverse board in the county! It has led to rich and productive discussions that have and will continue to benefit students.
  • Opened the Integrated Wellness Center: After the 2017 fires, we used philanthropic dollars to open a wellness center that gives our families access to health, mental health, and academic support.
  • Completed the Santa Rosa Charter School For the Arts remodel, which provides a first-class integrated education for our art-focused students.
  • Coming soon: Down Payment Assistance program for our staff.  In a survey to our staff, 65% of them said that the most helpful thing for them re housing would be down payment assistance. I spearheaded a negotiation with the City of Santa Rosa that resulted in our district being empowered to sell a piece of land in Fountaingrove and use the proceeds to fund a downpayment assistance program.  This can be a financial game changer for our existing staff and for staff recruitment.
  • Honored Staff: Our teachers and staff are dedicated to their professions and our students and are not honored or compensated enough. As President of the board I brought back Classified and Certificated Staff of the Month awards at our Board meetings.
  • Resumed combined Santa Rosa City Council & School Board joint meetings: as well as reviving a spirit and practice of collaboration.