Saturday, October 20, 2012

Irvine School Board Elections ~ Who's your Choice?


Field Trip Mom had the opportunity to meet this years candidates running for three seats on the Irvine School Board. The candidates running are:
 Paul Bokota an Irvine businessman
 Lauren Brooks, an educator and businesswoman
 Margaret Brown, a school planning director
 Omar Ezzeldine, chair of the city’s finance commission and an educator
 Carolyn Inmon, a retired teacher
 Michelle Ollada Alipio, a school nurse
 Michael Parham, incumbent and School Board president
 Bob Vu, an educator, scientist and entrepreneur
Cyril Yu, OC Deputy District Attorney
We met up with the candidates for various Q & A sessions with parents and teachers to hear their ideas and solutions to the issues as related to our challenged State school budget and other related issues.  Additional, we reached out to all of the candidates for responses to some more personal one on one questions to determine who they are outside of the office in an attempt to get to know them better.  Here are some of the responses:
From Michael Parham:
Do you think Field Trips are important?
YES! Some of my greatest experiences as a child were on field trips to places like Yosemite, the beaches of Northern California, and to Miwuk Village Indian Camp. Children learn by doing and seeing, and that necessitates getting out into the world beyond the classroom.
What was your favorite Field Trip?
Yosemite, for a full week in 7th grade
Why are you  wanting to be on the School Board?
I believe in public schools and I also believe that all of us have an obligation to perform some type of public service.
Why are you the best candidate?
Over the past 8 years on the school board I have shown my leadership by helping to bring our schools into the 21st century, initiating energy savings worth more than $10 mm, improving the scores of our most challenged students, providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all, with a focus at all times on fiscal responsibility.
Who are your biggest supporters?
The teachers (ITA), classified staff (CSEA), retired Superintendent Gwen Gross, and many local leaders.
What part of the day is the most important to you?
Dinnertime! I love to eat, and especially with my family.
What do you think are the most important challenges in education today?
Figuring out a way to move beyond assessments to focus on relevant learning that strengthens critical thinking and team work.
If elected, How will you balance your family life and your new demands?
As always, very carefully, but family comes first.
Why should every American vote this year?
Because to remain strong, America is dependent on an involved and educated voter.
Share your most memorable education moment?
Meeting the class greeter in a Northwood High Special Ed class. A child with severe autism "greeted" me when I walked in and handed me his business card that said he was the class greeter. Priceless.
What is your favorite hobby?
Playing drums.
What is your favorite book to read?
Master and Margarita, by Bulgokov.

If you are in the IUSD, take the time out before the elections to get to know your school board candidates.  There are three seats available this year so learn as much as you can about each candidate before the election.  Understanding their positions on key topics, personalities and ideas for bettering the future state of the schools in Irvine are critical to your kids and the future leaders of our community, government and businesses.  Blindly choosing a candidate, only sets you and your children up for increased concerns with the State school budget and programs in which your children attend as a result of the City of Irvine's excellent assistance provided to the school district.  Get informed before you vote!  If you haven't registered go to https://rtv.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote/ and do so today.  There are only a few days left to register.  On behalf of Field Trip Mom, we wish to thank the IUSD and all of the candidates running for our school board for their time and answering our questions.

Check out our new website running side by side with this blog at:  www.fieldtripmom.com
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