No Need to Vote: San Leandro has a New School Board

None of the four School Board candidates faced any opposition, so they've been automatically elected. Meet the new Board Members.

Nobody in California has yet to cast a ballot for the November elections (being August and all) but three new people have been elected to the San Leandro School Board and one more, trustee Diana Prola, has been re-elected for a second term. 

Corina Lopez will be representing Area 1 (the northwestern area of town), Vince Rosato will do the same for Area 3 (the southeastern part of town) and Jason Toro will be the at-large member.  None of them had an opponent and thus have been automatically elected to the Board.

Corina Lopez runs a technology consulting business in San Leandro.  She is a first generation Mexican-American, her parents were immigrant farm workers who settled in Soledad.  Corina did very well in school, went on to graduate from Princeton and study finance at UC Berkeley.  She worked on Wall Street before co-founding her own company. 

Corina’s background is very similar to that of many of our students, and I hope her personal experience leveraging the public school education she got into a springboard towards a higher education and a middle class lifestyle, will help her in directing our district towards educational policies that help, rather than hindrance, students.

Vince Rosato is a teacher at the New Haven School District.  I haven’t met him more than briefly, so all I know about him is what I was able to find through Google.  He has extensive educational experience, having taught every single grade as well as adult school.  He has experience working with adults with mental disabilities, as well as English learners.  He’s an active union member, has been on the CTA, and is very active both in his Church (Assumption) and with neighborhood watch.

Jason Toro probably presents the other side of the coin to Corina Lopez’ experience.  A first generation Puerto-Rican American, he was born in the East Coast but moved to Hayward in late childhood.  In Hayward he fell with the wrong crowd and became a member of a gang.  At 22, he decided to turn his life around and was able to do with the help of community programs.  He went on to work with troubled youth and later with adults with disabilities.  He is married with four children all at the San Leandro school district.

I’ve met Jason and I’m very impressed by him.  I hope his personal experience will contribute to an educational policy that addresses the realities that our children are confronted with.

With these three new Board member, the San Leandro School Board will have a majority Latino representation for the first time ever (Mike Katz-Lacabe, my husband, is of Latino origin). It’s about time :-)

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David August 21, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Because it's vitally important that a town with about 27% Latino population have a majority Latino school board?
Marga Lacabe August 21, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Latinos make up 40% of the student body, and they are a growing population at our schools. Still, Latino teachers and administrators are severely underrepresented. That means there is a dearth of knowledge at the district on how to tackle the specific issues that affect Latino students. I'm hoping that the new School Board members can bring in some of this experience.
David August 21, 2012 at 04:06 PM
The continued triumph of hope over experience. It would be too much to ask for competence rather than racial bean counting.
Marga Lacabe August 21, 2012 at 04:28 PM
David, but that's exactly what makes me hopeful: the experience of the candidates. Corina's background is extremely similar to that of many of our students. Her parents were poor Mexican immigrants who crossed the border in search of a better life. Through her personal strife and the encouragement of teachers and others, she managed to graduate top of her HS class and then go to and graduate from Princeton. That's quite an achievement, David, and that's the type of achievement that we want for all our students. Corina knows how she made it out, hopefully she'll be able to impart some of that knowledge. Jason, meanwhile, has an intimate knowledge of what's like to fall with the wrong crowd and make it out. I'm hoping he can both serve as a role model for our students, but also that his personal knowledge will help guide policy in particular vis a vis this troubled population. I know much less about Vince, though he definitely has a lot of experience as an educator. I found some of the ideas he expresses on his website intriguing (though I didn't like the third person format): http://vince4schools.webs.com/ Anyway, I am hopeful and really, if we don't have hope, what else is there?
Leah Hall August 21, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Pleasuring oneself by squashing others online? I shared this post on another string, but I thought you might enjoy checking it out, Marga. It's from Diverse magazine. http://diverseeducation.com/article/17308c1/seeking-a-new-equation-for-math-education.html
David August 21, 2012 at 07:14 PM
"Hope dies last." I'm doubtful that the backgrounds of school boardmembers anywhere have any impact whatsoever on students. I'm doubtful that more than 5% of students in any school district have a clue as to who is on their school board, never mind whether or not that school boardmember is a role model for them personally. The relevant question is whether these members will have a beneficial effect on the administration/teaching and therefore quality of SL schools. Not whence they came, not their race, not their religion, not where they went to school because those things matter not one whit.
Leah Hall August 21, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Listen up, Marga. Gummy Bear is the self appointed expert of such matters. :) EVERYBODY SING! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=astISOttCQ0
Marga Lacabe August 22, 2012 at 06:30 AM
And yet, David, you keep referring to your Catholic school experience every time we talk about the schools. Clearly you think that your own experience is useful in understanding and solving the challenges our schools have. And if so, the experience of these three new members seems likely to be just as valuable, if not more.
David August 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Like I said. I ignore your racial bean counting and comment that the students will be somehow inspired by people they don't know exist. Rather, I would hope that they're competent and work to improve the schools.
thornton September 07, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Jason Toro, also has five kids, not four as he states. It is a known fact that he has been absent from his other child's life for many years. How is that a good example for the children of San Leandro, California or the United States. Community of San Leandro, you may want to look more into this candidate. I don't believe deadbeat parents are good examples to lead our kids.
Fred Eiger September 21, 2012 at 02:13 AM
What a ridiculous comment that Jason is a "first generation" Puerto Rican. This shows how utterly ignorant Marga Lacabe Katz is. Puerto Rican's have been American Citizens since 1917 and under United States control since 1898. Marga doesn't even know history. What a clutz. Spanish-American War Marga??? Unless Jason is 114 years old there is no way in Hell that guy is a "first generation" American. Anyway, it seems that there has been a default take over of the School District by the extremists. The School District is finished, either move to Pleasanton, send the kids to Catholic School or move into the Corvallis School area.
Fred Eiger September 22, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Apparently it doesn't matter to the handlers who got him to get 20 signatures in a race that no one else wanted.
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