Thursday, August 12, 2010

Candidate filings, and then there were 7 - MDUSD Board

SEVEN candidates for the THREE vacant MDUSD seats will be on the ballot in November. Only three submitted candidate statements. Their statements are linked below.

Details as follows:

Linda Mayo (Pleasant Hill)
Incumbent
(Linda lists a website on her candidate statement linked below http://www.lindamayo4mdusd.com)

Jeffrey Adams (Concord)
Attorney
(candidate statement in link below)

Roy Larkin (Concord)
Retired CFO

Lynne Dennler (Concord)
Retired Teacher

Cheryl Hansen (Clayton)
Educator

Brian Lawrence (Concord)
Technology Executive
(candidate Statement in link below)

Jan Trezise (Clayton)
Retired Bank Appraiser

On the attached Voter Information Pamphlet, there are 3 candidate statements.

It is interesting that ALL of the Concord candidates are in the Concord High Feeder pattern... guess it doesn't mean anything, but interesting nonetheless.

Mr. Lawrence, in his candidate statement, mentions choosing a 'parent participation school' for his son, which earlier on this blog he said was entering kindergarten. Which school would that be? Do you think he means Monte Gardens or Sequoia?


So, any thoughts? I look forward to getting to know them more and meeting with them personally. How about you?


47 comments:

  1. Could Mr. Lawrence mean Eagle Peak?

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  2. What elem school should his child attend according to where he lives?

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  3. I would urge every voter to study what a school board trustee SHOULD be doing

    School Board Leadership: The role and function of California School Boards. http://www.csba.org/~/media/Files/AboutCSBA2/SchBrdLeadershipBk.ashx

    And then pick the candidates that the voter thinks will most closely fit that model identified by the California School Board Association. Apparently none of our current board has attended the CSBA training.

    Doctor J

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  4. Per his address, it would be El Monte. I suppose it could be Eagle Peak, but Montessori's aren't necessarily "parent participation" either, right? Well, maybe he'll answer. Maybe it's just a nice way of saying I didn't want to go to our home school :) Just kidding . . .

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  5. Maybe it's Cornerstone at YVE

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  6. I'm a little disappointed that the candidates are only from Concord/Clayton.

    It's too bad that people from other cities in the MDUSD (PH/Laf/WC/Mtz/BayPoint)didn't want to run.

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  7. Anon 8:43
    In reading the materials on csba.org, some districts hold elections by "districts" so all parts of the district are represented. Something to think about.
    Doctor J

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  8. Thank You, Dr. J I think you are FANTASTIC! Keep it coming.
    Jeff Adams sounds familiar. Was he the one that ran against Sherry W?

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  9. Ms. Mayo is not in the Concord High attendence area.

    In the last election there were two open positions and four candidates. The candidates were April Treece, Jeff Adams, Gary Eberhart, and myself.

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  10. Linda Mayo is from Pleasant Hill. I only said the Concord candidates are in the Concord High feeder pattern.

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  11. Sherry, you are too kind. Adding your and Gary votes together, and adding April and Jeff's votes together, you had a 2 to 1 advantage.
    Doctor J

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  12. MDUSD Parents,

    Sorry I read in haste. You are correct.

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  13. Paul, your second part of your post never did show up.
    Doctor J

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  14. Anon 10:14am- Jeff didn't run against Sherry. He ran for an open seat with three other people and I believe he got the least votes of all four people.

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  15. Jeff did run against Sherry and he also sought appointment when I was appointed. For the record, he received one vote in the first round of appointments.

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  16. Just reread your comment. At the time of my appointment, there were 20 applicants. Each board member was given 2 votes. Any applicant who received at least one vote went to the next round. From my best recollection, the tally was:

    1st round:
    Sherry 1
    Jeff 1
    John Ferrante 2
    Me 4

    So, Jeff did not get the lowest - arguably the 16 who got no votes came in lower.

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  17. I am not sure what you are referring to Paul, but I am talking about the Nov 2008 election.

    There were four candidates and you were supposed to vote for two.

    Sherry was the top voter getter with 35% of the vote, Gary got 33%, April got 17% and Jeff got 15%.

    Sherry didn't run against Jeff. She ran for an open seat, as did the incumbents.

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  18. Hey congrats MDUSDParents blog owner, you trumped the CCTimes on the news of the new candidates and announcement of the full candidate list!

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  19. FYI, Lawrence's son will attend the Cornerstone program at YVE.
    Here's more info on the candidates: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2010/08/15/seven-candidates-in-mt-diablo-school-board-race/

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  20. I read that linda mayo is a business owner. What business ? Does anyone know? She's so quiet on the board necer really seeming to have any strong opinions of her own. She was always in lockstep with Treece and Allen, now with Allen. What has she brought to the board and to our district?

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  21. Oops, that word would be NEVER ... Not necer

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  22. Linda and Allen are the only ones who tried to stand up to the Gang of Five. Gary, Paul and Sherry (like the sheep they are) voted for it.

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  23. Gary and Paul are sheep? Really? That may be even more BS than what is posted by Dr. J.

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  24. anon 9:20
    You sound like Steven Lawrence.
    Doctor J

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  25. STAR test results available to the public at 1:30 pm today at the www.cde.ca.gov website. Get your scorecards out to see how well your school did. I suggest you pay attention to how the six "persistently underachieving schools" did, plus the six or seven that might be added this year. Especially relevant will be the two "persistently underachieving schools" who did NOT have a change in leadership because Lawrence and Lock decided they were making "progress". Did they ? Did Lawrence and Lock make the right call ? What if they drop again ? Does Lawrence wait another year to make a change ?
    Doctor J

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  26. Anon 8:37- What does stand up to the Gang of Five mean? They voted against the raises--does that make them heroes or immune to their other unanimous votes with the rest of the board?

    Someone named the accountant and lawyer as two of the Gang of Five. Who are the other three? It's interesting to me that no one names them. Is it because they are just administrative people who have also taken on more responsibilities and got raises and not as controversial as an accountant and lawyer who may have not been on McHenry's side?

    I have to say, the reference to the "Gang of Five" is so ridiculous. Did these five people work collectively to convince the board to give them raises or are they just five random people who got raises.

    Mr/Ms Administrator--You should really get over your paranoia.

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  27. I am rooting for Oak Grove actually. I've met the Principal there and I know several of the families who have CHOSEN to attend there. That school , as well as most of the others on the "list," have very unique challenges and I do not believe you can put the blame on the principal - at least not from what I've seen at Oak Grove. I do not know of the other schools, but hearing her speak about Oak Grove, her enthusiasm for student achievement and meeting and hearing from some of the students themselves, it would be really great to see that school emerge at some point a real success story. I hope they made the right choice, I hope the results show improvement.

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  28. Hey Dr. J, can you email me? I have some questions for you ...

    mdusdparents@gmail.com

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  29. @MDUSDparents. If you don't mind, I would prefer you email me through the "contact" at CC Times blind email server. Thanks.
    Doctor J

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  30. Dr J, I don't have a registration for their forums. I can not stand registering to read news at the Times so I don't. Ok, well, then nevermind.

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  31. Anon 5:01
    Having worked closely with Board members in two large Bay Area school districts over the past 17 years, I can say that Linda Mayo is one of the best. She's been involved in MDUSD schools as a parent volunteer and PTA leader, both at the local and state level, for more than 20 years. As a Board member she regularly visits schools, sits in on trainings and committee meetings, attends student activities,keeps up to date on education issues and policies, and responds to constituents' concerns.

    She is a quiet, tireless force on behalf of students, staff, and the instructional program. In the 9 years I worked in the MDUSD Superintendent's Office, Linda called or stopped by more often than any other Board member, voicing and forwarding concerns and asking hard questions about the Superintendent's proposals and recommendations. She does her research and is highly detail-oriented. Staff respects her, knowing her questions are intended to assure that she has sufficient information to make decisions.

    Gary and Paul have done a masterful job at portraying Linda, Dick Allen, and April Treece as a Board majority that merely "rubberstamped" Superintendent McHenry's recommendations. That portrayal is simply not accurate. April and Dick also regularly asked probing questions. We added several file cabinets in the office to hold the amount of information routinely sent to all Board members. Also, a review of Board meeting minutes over the last 10 years will show that the Board voted 5-0 more than 90 percent of the time and that each Board member has cast a dissenting vote on some issues. Voters who accept Gary's and Paul's portrayal should be asking how the current Board majority of the two of them and Sherry Whitmarsh, who often vote as a bloc, is different.

    That said, the ideal Board is comprised of individuals who have a working knowledge of public education issues and school finance and been involved in local schools. They may have different concerns and priorities, but are willing to work collaboratively and respectfully for the good of the district as a whole.

    Linda Mayo is and always has been such a Board member.

    As for her business, she and her husband co-own a well-regarded company that assesses fire safety in proposed and existing buildings in this country and abroad. Linda reads and understands construction plans, documents, and details. She has been a conscientious overseer of the Measure A and Measure C programs.

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  32. Sue Berg- As a long time board watcher, I agree with your assessment of Linda and her dedication to our students and our schools, but that doesn't mean that she didn't vote as a bloc with April and Dick in support of almost everything Gary McHenry proposed.

    You said, "Gary and Paul have done a masterful job at portraying Linda, Dick Allen, and April Treece as a Board majority that merely "rubberstamped" Superintendent McHenry's recommendations."

    I attended, or watched most board meetings and Gary and Paul didn't need to do a masterful job of convincing people. When Mr. McHenry proposed something, there was little questioning from the majority. My recollection of those days were that the questions were more leading, than probing.

    I have disagreed with Linda on many an issue, but I respect her a great deal. When you email her, she responds and gives you more than just an acknowledgment. I could not say the same thing for April Treece.

    Linda isn't in the "board majority" now, but she and Dick have probably voted 5-0 with the majority as often as Paul and Gary did when they were in the minority.

    It is good to have people with different perspectives on the board, and I believe Linda should keep her seat. It's healthy to have debate. It the stone that sharpens the axe.

    We don't need ideological purity on the board, we just need people who are willing to listen to each other and be respectful.

    After all, we are in it for the common goal of our children.

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  33. STAR test results: I am sure Lawrence will put lipstick on the results -- overall pretty ugly. A a couple of bright spots though. But unfortunately, my scorecard tells me that MDUSD's record number of six "persistently underachiving schools" will grow. That's bad news for kids.
    Doctor J

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  34. Dr. J. and it's administrators like you who need to go because your negative attitude about everything is not good for your school or the district. We need leaders at our schools not people who sit at their desks during work time and complain on blogs anonymously.

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  35. Anon 8:08
    so what did you find positive about the MDUSD STAR test results ? Or are you one of those people that think if you bury your head in the sand like an ostrich that all will be ok ? Don't you care about kids and helping them be successful ?
    Doctor J

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  36. Doctor J- So what is the way to make kids in lower socioeconomic schools do better on STAR tests?

    Is it to have a strategic plan on paper? Is that going to magically translate into higher test scores?

    The reality is that there is only so much the schools can do. The rest is up to the individuals and families.

    The old expression "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" really applies to education. You can have all the plans in the world, but if education isn't valued by individuals, then you won't get anywhere.

    BTW- If you are an administrator and are spending this much time writing on blogs, then you are definitely part of the problem.

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  37. Another MDUSD ParentAugust 17, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Anon 10:27

    There are lower socio-economic areas all over this country where school districts, administrators, teachers, and parents are coming together to make a difference in student achievement.

    Yes, a true strategic plan (I am not sure this district leadership can actually pull it off) brings those entities together wih full buy-in and commitment.

    No, a strategic plan that is solely found on a piece of paper is not the kind of strategic plan that any of us vocal on the subject are advocating for.

    Do you really believe teachers can't reach these kids given the proper programs and support? I have more faith in our teachers than that.

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  38. Anon 10:27
    Like the Seattleschools "vision", the first thing you have to believe is that every child can excel. When all stakeholders arrive at that kind of vision, a Strategic Plan can be collobatively arrived at, and implimented. Dictator driven goals never got all the stakeholders believing in the same vision.
    I also agree with Annon 11:32
    Doctor J

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  39. 11:32am - Have all the faith in teachers that you want, but if a kid goes home and no one gives a damn about their doing their homework, then that child will suffer.

    I don't know when the last time you were actually in a classroom of a low socioeconomic school, but I see teachers totally frustrated by time spent off lesson dealing with problems.

    I have faith in teachers, but I don't have faith in all the stakeholders. The success that some inner city schools have achieved has come because of parent buy-in.

    This is a big issue.

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  40. Theresa has done a stellar job of analysis of the STAR test results. I would like to hear what the Board and 7 candidates think about the results, what is being done to improve the results, and when we can expect less schools on the "persistently underachieving schools" list, instead of more. http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2010/08/16/a-closer-look-at-star-scores-in-lowest-performing-schools/comment-page-1/#comment-755Doctor J

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  41. Anon 4:49

    I too agree with 11:32 and Doc J regarding a strategic plan.
    A comprehensive strategic plan with stakeholder input and one that is widely communicated can unite a community.

    MDUSDParents posted information about a new superintendent in North Carolina. Look at that post and the post about the same school district on MDUSDVoice. You will see that his district's strategic plan is present in everything they do. It is mentioned in every budget presentation and is prominent on the website. Someone said a strategic plan is not a road map it is a compass. That compass keeps everyone focused on student achievement.

    I hope you will instead consider a strategic plan as one more step toward more parent involvement and a good thing for our kids.

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  42. Not a peep from the Board about the STAR test results. Presumably they got them about 10 days ago even though not released to the public until last Monday. Come on Board, give us your comments; strengths, weaknesses, plan for improvement.
    Doctor J

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  43. When do the students see their results? It seems in past years we had them by now didn't we? Well actually one of my kids didn't get their results last year. Somehow lost the whole thing... strange.

    I was astonished that some of the schools in our district literally had SINGLE DIGIT proficiency in some subjects. Also a lot of declines in 8th grade algebra district wide, is that due to the new standards and algebra now being required at 8th grade?

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  44. MDUSDParents - I can see the START scores form May 2010 for my child in Homelink. Click on Student Info and then select Test Scores.

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  45. Will the Board agenda for Tuesday include a Strategic Plan initiative since three of the board members indicated their general support for such an initative on this blog ?
    Can the Board do more than talk the talk ? Will they walk the talk ?
    Doctor J

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  46. Of course not! First we need to wait until we have a new board majority, then a new superintendent, then a bond measure, now a new board, etc... etc... etc...

    As much as I believe a strategic plan is incredibly important, if the Superintendent does not embrace the idea and the board does not see it as a priority, it will be useless.

    For all of us who agreed in 2008 that strategic planning was important to the success of this district our kids are continuing to move through the system with no plan in sight. The way I see it is that my last kid will be out before any plan is completed by this board and this Superintendent.

    Hopeless.

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  47. Of course not! First we need to wait until we have a new board majority, then a new superintendent, then a bond measure, now a new board, etc... etc... etc...

    As much as I believe a strategic plan is incredibly important, if the Superintendent does not embrace the idea and the board does not see it as a priority, it will be useless.

    For all of us who agreed in 2008 that strategic planning was important to the success of this district our kids are continuing to move through the system with no plan in sight. The way I see it is that my last kid will be out before any plan is completed by this board and this Superintendent.

    Hopeless.

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