I give my highest endorsement, out of all the races, to Michelle. I give it to her because:
- Michelle knows the district. Her learning curve is going to be short for a new Board member.
- Michelle's background in communications and marketing would be a big "add" for our Board. Her guidance in this area could help not only create better public engagement but also reframe the district's image.
- Michelle listens and she has a pretty good memory (for the mom of 2 small children). I've been surprised at her recall and that's another bonus for a job loaded with detail.
- She's enthused. I think sometimes candidates can get busy looking serious and/or passionate and Michelle is just plain enthused about getting in there and helping guide our district to be better
I didn't get the chance to interview John Dunn but he and I have seen each other off and on for years at Board meetings. He's a qualified person and an honorable man and he knows this district.
I did talk to Harium Martin-Morris.
On the upside, I like Harium's enthusiasm over focusing on the alternative school system. He feels like these can be our starter schools of innovation that are already in place. He was the one who put forth the idea for John Miner, principal at Thorton Creek, to be a liaison between alternative schools because of his long experience.
In talking about creating opportunities for schools to try innovative ideas (for maybe one subject area), he mentioned the "paralysis of process" which I thought was a great phrase for getting bogged down.
He said that he hoped people would look at some of his key votes - voting against the sale of MLK, Jr. to First AME and voting against school closures - to see that he has not always followed Board voting patterns.
On the downside - he didn't have much to say about anything he would do differently as a Board member based on his first term. That really discouraged me. It's hard to believe that over his term and the number of challenges and crises in this district that it has not lead him to thinking about what (or how) he might do differently going forward. In the end, that's why I can't vote for him.
It was an interesting interview because the whole time I kept thinking, "Well, here's the guy I voted for last time. Where has he been? And is he going to be there if re-elected?" He was energetic and enthused but when I asked him about what I perceived as some withdrawal and silence over the last year or so, he demurred and said no. It makes me unsure about what Harium we would get if he were re-elected.