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Candidates in school board race agree image a priority

first_img Candidates say the district still suffers from a negative reputation that started decades ago but is no longer true. The district has improved since the days of violence and low student achievement that characterized its past, they say. “I think we’ve created a lot of positive changes in the last four years,” said board president Paul Solano, who is running for his second term on Nov. 8. Improving the image of Bassett Unified School District and Bassett High School is one of the top priorities for the three incumbents and three challengers running for three school board seats. Moreno, who attended kindergarten at Van Wig Elementary, said she is running for office to give back to the community and help students succeed. She has a master’s degree in education and teaches third grade at St. Louis. As a board member, she’d like to see modernization within the classroom, such as buying new textbooks, encouraging teachers in their job and retaining veteran teachers in the district. Challenger Maria Pico, who has lived in the Bassett area for 34 years, said schools need to invite more parent involvement. Pico said she’s also concerned with unnecessary spending and would like to see that less money is wasted if elected to the board. Because her three children now attend Sunkist Elementary School, she wants to make sure they receive the best education possible. Another way to improve the district’s image is to invite former graduates who are now working professionals to talk to current students, according to incumbent Bob Fuentes, who has been on the board for 12 years. It’s not true that Bassett students don’t succeed. Returning to the race is challenger Lizet Angulo, a former board member. Her concerns about the board’s relationship with the superintendent and spending of the bond money convinced her to run for office again, she said. “At this time, I think the majority of the board is controlling the superintendent, and I always thought that the board and the superintendent would be working together,” Angulo said. “We shouldn’t be micromanaging anybody. We should be the overseers.” Improving the district’s relationship will be a public relations task in finding and highlighting positive issues at Bassett High School. The high school should send students to intermingle with younger students in the middle schools, she said. Also, parents should be able to attend periodic meetings or orientation meetings at the high school to introduce the different departments and programs offered. “They’re doing great stuff out there. People need to know more about it,” she said. Incumbent Anna Aguilar could not be reached for this story. — Esther Chou can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2513, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! function openpopupmars1(){ var popurl=”http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site207/2005/1020/20051020_095340_1021-nt-BASSETT-UNI-ELECT-B.gif” winpops=window.open(popurl,””,”width=848,height=844,”) } AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Some of those positive changes include promoting Robert Watanabe to superintendent, passing a $23 million bond measure, paying off a $11 million debt and raising confidence among parents and employees, according to Solano. There’s also a new principal at the high school. From personal experience, Solano said some families enroll their children in Bassett schools until eighth grade, then transfer to private schools or other districts for their high school education. Solano himself attended Bassett schools until eighth grade and transferred to Bishop Amat High Memorial School. Candidates say they want to continue raising morale and pride for Bassett schools among community members. That way, the district’s reputation will improve as well. Challenger Karina Moreno, a teacher at St. Louis of France School in La Puente, said the district should start a program in which high school students could talk to middle school students about what high school is like. The idea of success and a “you can” attitude should be instilled in students when they start their freshman year, Moreno said. Not only should students be educated in core subjects but they should also know how to “go about the system,” such as taking the SAT, applying to college and studying for class.last_img read more

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