In his own words, incumbent John Fuller details the most pressing issues school board members will have to deal with come November.
As a parent of two boys in Martinez Unified School District and a board member, I am very proud with the progress of the whole District over the last five years. In that time, I have been collaborating with students, parents, staff and the community at large to improve the District substantially and achieve success. Test scores for all schools are up and our students seem to be thriving. Last year alone we had two schools become California Distinguished Schools. Yet, there is still a lot of work to be done.
My first priority as Board Member is that we continue to build on our success. We must never, ever forget that our children’s overall well-being and quality education are our top priorities. Success can sometimes allow people to lose their focus. We must continue to strive to get better no matter what difficulties we face, our students deserve that commitment.
Managing our budget is a key priority for me. Because of the condition of the state budget, there will be difficult decisions to be made. Being faced with difficult budget decision is a continuing part of being a Board Member. It is something that I refuse to step away from because difficult times require leadership that never stops. We have been successfully managing the budget over the last five years while balancing our student and staff needs. I know we can face any obstacle over the next few years.
Transparency is another top priority. It is something that I have been dealing with since I have been on the board. It is important that we are completely open and communicate effectively with the public. I am all for taking more time to make sure that we have a solid plan, we communicate what we plan, and follow through with that plan. Rushing items without a plan or not having true transparency causes mistrust.
For example, Measure K was rushed to the ballot in 2010 with a board approved project list. In the project list Vincente/Briones was allocated 640K to upgrade the classrooms. Vincente/Briones is now planning to build a brand new campus at a cost of $5 million, making it the second largest project for Measure K. A more comprehensive transparent plan would have allowed this project to be included in the bond language and presented to the voters. I will continue to strive to improve transparency so there will be no questions on what is being done in the district and why it is being done.
Board members realize honest dialogue and asking the hard questions has been one of the keys to our success. It has helped make our District stronger. By focusing on our budget, and having true transparency we can continue to strengthen our collaboration/relationships with students, parents, staff and the community at large, all key members in MUSD success. Success that is being demonstrated every year in our students personal achievements.
I ask you to allow me to continue to build on our success and your vote on November 6.