Standardized test results do not currently reflect our educators’ dedicated work, but we do need to measure how we, as parents, teachers, and voters, are preparing our children to become future leaders and effective contributors. Let's use meaningful achievement metrics.
Children in the Ravenswood City School District deserve high academic standards and a rigorous curriculum that instills love for learning, persistence, perseverance, and focus. This applies whether they're in science, civics, or arts classes.
Our schools should support high ambition students by providing outlets to their will to learn more: for example, fostering math, chess, science, arts, and music clubs and competitions. The Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School's robotics club is a great starting point.
COMPETITIVE PAY FOR TEACHERS
We need to pay our teachers more to remain a competitive employer: $75,000 per year must be the base salary for our teachers. Our teachers' starting salary is currently $60,000.
The district should sponsor teacher attendance and participation in state, national, and international conferences for teachers
To sustain the higher salaries, we can create fundraising committees to strengthen our links to tech companies in the area, increase overall enrollment in schools (only high academic achievement will attract new families), apply for Federal academic improvement grants, and initiate local bond measures.
Our facilities need to be well manicured and inviting. The $110 million we raised through Measure I provides the funds to review what is possible.
Our playgrounds and fields need trees that provide plenty of shade
Play areas need to be free from trash, and old, rusty playgrounds should be removed
Halls need to be well lit and open.
Asphalt areas with cracks need to be resurfaced
We currently do not have a Parent-Teacher Association at our schools. We need to figure out how to engage parents.
Many (~75%) of our students are learning English. The school district can engage with parents to ensure parents know how the educational system in the U.S. works, what different career paths in the U.S. look like, and how their children can become competitive college applicants (we know that preparation starts early on in life).
LOW ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Our students on average are not doing well in standardized testing, which check for basic academic competency, and underperform their peers when they go to High School.
The Proposed Solution
Place academic excellence at the core of our mission: all children can meet high expectations
Make our school district a competitive employer to retain and attract great teachers and administrators
Sponsor teachers' attendance at conferences so they remain well aware of what other schools do to maintain high academic standards
Engage parents to support them with the latest research as they foster a love of learning in their children
DECREASE IN ENROLLMENT = DECREASE IN FUNDING
As more families opt to send their children to charter or private schools, less funding goes to our schools
The Proposed Solution
High academic achievement will attract families back into our public schools
Set up a fundraising committee to engage with companies in the area and the community at large
Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Attended excellent private schools.
Attended the Illinois Institute of Technology to study Aerospace Engineering
Completed Master's and Ph.D. at Stanford University's Aeronautics and Astronautics Department
Currently work in the private industry as Director of Autonomy (robotics)
7+ years of experience developing aerospace systems and leading high-performance technical teams
Why I'm running
I feel a sense of duty to give back and leverage my experience competing in challenging academic environments to give a leg up to children in our public schools
It feels that academic excellence has been ignored for too long at our schools. Neither the previous or the other current School Board candidates have mentioned it as a priority. Good intentions and loving care for our students are not enough to give them a leg up in this world.
Life has taught me that knowledge and academic excellence are the keys to economic mobility. I firmly believe that low-income and immigrant students are especially deserving of being held to and empowered to meet high expectations.
Why elect me
Academic excellence is not optional, and my life trajectory embodies this belief.
Did I mention that no other candidate is prioritizing academic excellence?
As a native Spanish speaker and first generation immigrant, I feel identified with the 75% of the student population and their parents. This is critical to re-engage parents and put them at ease when their children start coming home with more homework and start spending more time at school.