Kudos to Eugene Weekly for having two stories in the March 18 edition on the 4J school board races. As we recover from the pandemic it will be critical that the board includes new voices and perspectives.
Two highly qualified women of color are running for the two open seats on the board. Maya Rabasa is a parent, long time volunteer in the schools and a member of the district’s budget committee. Laural O’Rourke went through the system as a student and is now a parent of children who are in the 4J schools. Through their own experiences they can bring a perspective to the board that is invaluable at a time when our schools are going through great demographic changes.
In the third race, Tom Di Liberto, a retired 4J classroom teacher, is running against an incumbent. It would be incredible to have a teacher with 31 years of experience on the school board that has not had a teacher on it in decades. Yes, decades! Tom would bring a classroom perspective to the board which is sorely absent now. He is also bilingual and would greatly increase the communication with the Latinx community.
His classroom experience can highlight the effects of out of control standardized testing that is taking valuable time from teaching and has narrowed the curriculum to tested subjects at the expense of art, music, social studies etc.
Three new diverse voices on the board would be a huge plus for our students and our community.
Retired 4J teacher