45 years old. Master's in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University
Works as medical interpreter in Marin County and is a volunteer with Health and Human Services, where she helps Spanish-speakers access services. Born in Mexico.
Why I'm Running:
"There’s still a lot of work to be done. Education is very important for everybody. I want to make sure youth have activities, that they’re busy and stay off the street. It’s my responsibility that all of our children succeed.
Top Priorities If Reelected
Maintaining fiscal responsibility, accountability, and integrity are of utmost importance. Keeping schools safe, creating innovative student programs, employing and supporting competent teachers and staff’s training are also a must!
In my second term, I will continue to focus on the needs of all students gaining access and equity to learning. Student achievement in Reading, English, Mathematics, Science competencies, and Technology/Literacy, are learning tools of today, jobs for the future. Focusing on narrowing the students’ achievement gap and strong student retention toward graduation are crucial.
The number of Latino students at Novato schools is growing. What will you do to help address their needs?
When I came to the U.S. as a child, I had to learn English. So I understand what they're going through. We’ve come a long way in teaching English Language Learners (ELLs). But we can do more to make sure parents are involved in our schools. We already have PIQUE, Parents Institute for Quality Education, which works with parents to help them understand the steps required for their children to get into college.
We’re also hiring a new director for the ELL program, but hiring more bilingual teachers will help because they can help Latino students not slip through the cracks.
How will you attract and retain quality teachers?
I really respect teachers and in fact wanted to be one and saw how challenging it can be. We’re doing our best to make sure teachers are happy and that's why I think professional development is so important. I want to make sure teachers are trained to teach for the new Common Core Standards (new teaching method being implemented in California and nationwide over the next two years.)
Should the district do more to prepare students for vocational careers? Or should we be more focused on getting our kids into college?
We should prepare kids for whatever they chose to do, whether it’s college or vocational training. It’s important to not miss the kids in the middle, the ones who aren't failing, but are not the high achievers either.
What are you proud of during your time on the school board?
We’ve done a lot in terms of improving our facilities like building a new pool at Novato High and putting in a new gym at the Hamilton School. I’m also proud of our students. Academically, they’re doing very well and exceeding California standards.
What are some challenges facing the district?
The switch to Common Core is definitely one of them, preparing our teachers for that. Also, we have a new way of testing with the STAR test being eliminated. We're also moving to the Smarter Balance testing system where kids will take it on the computer instead of Scantron.
Finally, our district has a new funding formula thanks to new legislation signed by Gov. Brown and additional funds following the passage of Proposition 30. That will give us $200 addition per student or $1.6 million total. Also the Local Control Funding Formula will give our schools more flexibility because we will be able to decide what to do with our money, but with the flexibility comes responsibility and accountability.
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