What a relief and joy to have a nonpartisan election for LAPS School Board. This election has four wonderful candidates but two stand out as uniquely qualified and outstanding.—Christine Bernstein and Julia Baker.
The first, Christine Bernstein, who will represent Aspen School will be the first LAPS Board member who is at this very moment teaching in the “trenches” at Pojoaque High School. She has been a teacher for 24 years (9 years at LAHS, in California, and currently in Pojoaque), has extensive knowledge of 21st century learning, and an understanding of educating students from various economic strata for the challenge Los Alamos offers. Her work with children in poverty as well as students in Los Alamos allows Chris to take Los Alamos to the future of our country. In addition, she recognizes the needs of this generation of students both academically and behaviorally. Chris has 4 children who were/are educated here. She feels fortunate that her children attended LAPS because they were provided an opportunity to grow through a rigorous curriculum with teacher support and guidance to prepare them for the road to success.
My other top candidate is Julia Baker who will represent Barranca School. Julia has a degree in education and taught 5th grade before starting her family. She brings a different view to the board with her intimate knowledge of having a special needs child in LAPS. I believe she will be the first board member to have a special needs child. With her degree in education, knowledge of elementary schools and experience with special ed, Julia, understands the language of IEPs and the ways LAPS can expand all they do to accommodate these students. Julia has served on PTOs and PTAs for the last 8 years including 2 years as Mountain’s PTA secretary and 2 years is the current PTO vice president at Barranca. As a school board member her top priorities would be facilitating communication between parent groups and the district and supporting policies that give our teachers and students opportunities to pursue many paths to success.
As members of the LAPS Board, both Julia and Chris will make sure there is transparency in all that is done. They both believe it is crucial that the board makes decisions after they have advertised the controversial topic and discussed the issues in a public venue. They both stress that parent opinions must be a part of the decision making process.
Shouldn’t teachers make up the school board just like scientists run the Lab? Just because everyone went to school does not qualify them to be experts in knowing what needs to happen to grow successful students in grades K-12 in the year 2019. Teachers know what it is like and the effects decisions can have on morale, teacher retention, and student learning. What winners we have in Christine Bernstein and Julia Baker!
Both women are young and vivacious and ready to take on the world. It is time for those who will live in the future to make the decisions that will affect them. Please vote for these two young, active women. Voting begins October 8 at the Municipal Building. You can register to vote and vote at the same time in this election. Thank you for assuring our children have a successful future.
Karyl Ann Armbruster
Public Education Commissioner District 4