I chose to run for the school board in the last two elections because I believe that our schools are the foundation upon which a great community is built. Strong schools lead to stronger, safer communities and stronger more vibrant businesses. This means EVERYONE in Hesperia has a vested interest in how well run HUSD is and how well HUSD continues to address the educational needs of our children.


I am very concerned about the future of HUSD and how what may come will affect our communities. HUSD faces two major issues; either one alone could devastate the district. Certainly the most obvious issue is the fiscal condition of the state and the impact continued cuts in funding will have on the district. Several years of declining enrollment and cuts to educational funding have already taken a significant toll on the district. No surprise, the second issue is the lack of civility and leadership provided by the governing board. (Point the finger at whomever you choose, the simple fact is, the board has lost the trust of many and is not providing the needed leadership.) School districts in all surrounding areas are facing the same external pressures, how the leaders within the district prepare and respond will determine whether HUSD is viewed as a standout district or an abject failure. I also feel a third less obvious issue exists that must be addressed. The citizens of Hesperia aren't supporting our schools. With all the infighting, accusations, strong-arming and overall lack of trust in the leadership that is attributed to HUSD, how can you blame the community for not wanting to be supportive? The problems that HUSD faces can only be addressed if ALL interested parties (board members, administration, teachers, non-certificated personnel AND the community) come to the table with solutions not assaults. Additionally all parties need to stop trying to blame others, defend their point of view or attack another's and make an effort to fully understand the options and potential solutions. Much has been said about how all employee groups must share the burden of cuts and how one program or another should be cut, but the community must also be prepared to do their part. It may come down to altering routes or charging for bus service, athletic and arts programs may need more support from booster clubs, schools may need to shut down, programs may need to be terminated, calendars may need to be changed and a myriad of other changes might need to be explored. In order to make HUSD a standout school district capable of attracting new families and building strong communities everyone will need to be prepared to share the burden; our teachers and staff will have to remain open to contract changes, the administration will have to shed cost and earn its keep and the parents will need to take a more active role in educating our children.


In addition to my hopes that programs that provide a full and rounded education can remain in place, it is my sincerest hope that every step is taken to preserve all possible employees and that all employees of HUSD continue to receive a livable wage. Letting employees go or reducing wages to levels that force employees to look elsewhere for income will ultimately have a negative long term effect. Many of the non-certificated employees have worked for the district 10-15 years or more and have a wealth of knowledge and skill that provide benefits to the district that are not outlined in a job description. The newer teachers that are most likely to be excused add value to the district by bringing new ideas and vitality. Once these employees are lost so is the synergy of experience and vitality.


I say all of this to make a simple point. Too many people are concerned only about themselves and how changes will affect them. It's time for a Kennedy moment. And so, my fellow Hesperian's: Ask not what HUSD should do for you-ask what you should do for HUSD.