Campaigning for election to the Los Alamos Public School Board in District 4 (Barranca) has been an interesting and informative experience. As I go door to door to meet my constituents or when I talk to parents and teachers at a school event, I typically get asked two big questions…”How are you going to keep our kids safe?” and “What will you do to keep our schools open?”
My short answer is that I support our current LAPS mask mandate. As a medical professional, I also strongly encourage all who are eligible for the Covid vaccine to get one. Masking up while indoors and getting the vaccine are two simple things most people can do to keep our students, teachers, staff, and community safe. These actions will keep our students in school.
There have also been many questions and conversations about traffic flow in and around Barranca Mesa Elementary School and the safety of Barranca’s students as they walk to and from school. As a result of these types of conversations, I asked the county to conduct a traffic study of the area last spring. After this was completed, the county gave us some ideas on how to keep the students safe. Since then, I have worked with the school administrators to implement many of those ideas. For example, we now have an improved pick up and drop plan, more signs asking drivers to be aware of the school zone, and crossing guards during pick up and drop off. This is one of the many ways I am working to keep students safe.
It’s no secret that we have a shortage of substitute teachers and support staff at BMES. While the district works on recruiting and hiring more substitutes, I brainstormed with Barranca’s principal about possible ways to help. We created a sign-up system and reached out to the community for help. As a result, several of Barranca’s parents are now volunteering to help with teachers’ duties during pick-up, drop-off, recesses, and lunch.
I share these stories to show that I am an involved school board member. I am aware of these types of issues related to Barranca because I have lived in the district for over 14 years. All five of my children have either gone to or are currently attending Barranca. I know of and understand the issues facing Barranca, as well as those of the middle and high schools, because they are MY issues too. As your current school board president, I am able to create the change and improvements necessary to help our kids stay safe, make sure they receive our unconditional support for who they are as an individual, and to support our LAPS employees. In this regard, I fully support Interim Superintendent Jennifer Guy’s recent statement, which summed up our support for student and employees very eloquently.
The other reason I share this with you is because I strongly feel that some of the other issues that have been brought up during this campaign have been overtly political and a distraction to
the day-to-day issues facing our community. In my view, these partisan disputes are not as relevant to this position or the school district. If re-elected to the school board, I will continue to be the voice of reason and focus on the two main issues that are most important to the district right now: 1) Keeping our children safe and in school as we ride out this pandemic and 2) Hiring a new superintendent. I think we can all agree that these issues are non-partisan, non political, and of utmost importance. I thank you for your support!
Candidate for District 4
Los Alamos Public Schools Board