The city of Palo Alto prides itself on the high quality and comprehensive education it provides for the students of the district. On Nov. 4, Palo Alto citizens will head to the ballot box and elect two of five competing candidates to serve terms on the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) Board of Education. In order to better our schools and productively address current district-wide issues, it is key that voters select the best leadership team to carry out the responsibilities associated with an effective school board.
While the large majority of the members of The Campanile will not be eligible to vote this November, we believe that as students who attend a PAUSD high school and are directly impacted each day by PAUSD policies, it is crucial that we voice our support for those candidates running whom we believe will best support young people like ourselves in achieving not only academic success, but also social and mental wellness, in this district.
Staff writers and editors individually researched the backgrounds and platforms of each candidate running. After compiling information and formulating questions, The Campanile invited all those running for School Board into our classroom, and four of the five candidates, Ken Dauber, Gina Dalma, Terry Godfrey and Catherine Crystal Foster, were able to attend our in-class interview panel. Candidate Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera was not present. As a body of journalists and high school students in the PAUSD system, The Campanile would like to formally endorse candidates Ken Dauber and Gina Dalma in this upcoming race.
We support Ken Dauber, a software engineer at Google, because of his dedication to the district, research, understanding and usage of real, empiricaldata and his bold, unfaltering commitment to a variety of significant issues. Dauber, who has not yet served on the School Board as an official board member, regularly attends meetings and presents suggestions, research and criticism. He possesses knowledge as thorough and extensive as those who are actually on the board and is, as The Palo Alto Weekly stated in their editorial, “often weighing in on issues with more clarity and insight than board members.” The Campanile would like to applaud Dauber for his consistent reliance on collected data and extensive research, which provide legitimacy and clarity to his platform and plans — something that personal opinion and anecdotal references alone cannot truly achieve for any campaign. We were impressed by Dauber’s knowledge of and stance on the prevalent of Office of Civil Rights cases, his commitment to minimizing academic gap and addressing student stress, as well as his support for a 13th district elementary school. While The Campanile does acknowledge that Dauber has in the past been characterized as slightly radical, we believe that his consistently resilient mindset, straight-forward speech and behavior is a benefit to the district and will prove Dauber a dependable board officer who commits to solving those crucial district issues he has already comprehensively outlined.
We support Gina Dalma because of her commitment to education at the professional level and because of stance on the Common Core Standards and incorporating innovators into academic institutions. Dalma has been and continues to be involved many education boards and projects including the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the National Common Core Funders Steering Committee. Her commitment to improving education can be seen through her continued professional involvement in many local, statewide and national education campaigns. In addition to having a deep understanding of the modern-day education system, Dalma also is a major advocate for education technology and incorporating innovation into the classroom. The resources that major innovators, such as Stanford and De Anza, offer would definitely help enrich learning and the opportunities offered our schools. Dalma’s appreciation for these resources and her focus on bringing those exceptional resources into our schools make her stand out from the current actions of the school board and from other candidates. We also believe that Dalma’s progressive perspective addressing how the school board must not remain stuck in tradition but instead become a learning institution in order to push education and match innovation would greatly benefit the ideologies held by the current board members. The Campanile believes that Dalma’s deep knowledge of the system yet her push for action regarding innovation will only benefit the students in the district and add a unique, diverse perspective to the current PAUSD School Board.