More candidate bios and Q&As can be found at http://novato.patch.com/news/elections
Owner of Strahm Communications, Marketing Solutions & Project Management. Father of two children who went through Novato schools.
Selected to site leadership team. Former coach and PTA volunteer. Has been on Novato school board for eight years.
How will you attract and retain quality teachers?
“I’ve been supportive of professional development; We need to keep programs alive and keep teachers engaged, especially with implementation of Common Core Standards.” We’ve also come up with Interest Based Bargaining, which I led on, which resulted in a 4 percent pay increase to our teachers.”
What are you most proud of during your tenure on board?
“I’m proud of our high test scores. Also piloting Common Core Standards prior to their implementation and starting technology initiatives
Upgrading our facilities, spending $124 million on multi-purpose rooms, modernizing our schools, investing in servers and systems.”
Should we educate all children as if they are college bound or should we more vocational programs be created?
“We have to start early so that kids know what they have to accomplish in elementary school and middle school in order to get into college. Every child should have the opportunity to go to college if that’s what they want.”
What have you done to encourage parents to be engaged in their schools and how do you know it worked?
“Parent participation is more of a cultural issue for me, a lot of it has to do with ideological beliefs or socio-economics, but it’s been proven that those who succeed are the ones who have parent or other adult support along the way.”
As number of Latino students in Novato grow, what is your strategy for hiring more bilingual staff so that bicultural needs of our students are met?
“We’ve made some large strides in the Latino community, including pre-K classes for kids who are not native speakers. We have to responsible for these children, they’re our kids and we have to find ways to reach them.”
Will NUSD increase contributions to employee health benefits?
“Classified employees have borne the brunt of recent cuts and I regret it. And in fact, one of the reasons I didn’t support an automatic 4 percent increase to all our administrative and director staff was because I felt we had more pressing needs…I’m going to do whatever I can to increase the pay and also help figure out the cost of healthcare.”