Picture of Rocky Rhodes and his dogOur world is changing quickly. Technology advancements, Covid-19, and safety concerns are topping the headlines. Our children’s education is being altered on all sides. Something has to be done for the children and their future.

Views on what to be done are diverse. Some people want to just go back to the way it was before. Others are afraid to go back, afraid for the safety of our children, teachers, and all of our extended family’s health. Some people are experimenting with alternatives to in-person teaching processes. We are all good people with real concerns.

Unfortunately for our children, the current environment for solving the problem has turned into something other than finding what is best for the students – it has become politically polarized. This politicization is adding another unnecessary stress to dealing with the problem at hand.

I am a problem solver from outside the system. I am also an educator. I look at the issues facing the School District through a different lens allowing me to:

  1. Identify the true stakeholders and their needs
  2. Fully understand what it takes for everyone to meet their needs while working together toward a common objective
  3. Identify and define solutions that others are too ‘stuck in their ways’ to see.

In my first year as a Trustee, I will conduct deep dives with stakeholders and listen to their concerns and their challenges. I will bring forth ideas about how to improve our district to enable our children to have a strong curriculum, support structure, social interactions, and a safe environment to learn. We need to reclaim the 2020/21 school year for these children. They deserve it.

Further, I will shine a light on the bigger picture. Education is changing. Change is not bad! The key is in how we change and the focus must always be on the students’ experience. In my own family, I have two learner types. One wants to be self-paced, and the other requires classroom structure to be successful. One finished High School at Monte Vista and the other is a senior at Royal. We found the best educational experience for our children right here in Simi Valley.  

This diversity of processes shows that we know how to adapt to our students. We cannot wait to follow other school districts. We must build on our strengths. We must lead the change and let others follow our example.