EUSD Board candidate: Anne-Katherine Pingree

Anne-Katherine Pingree, 44, lives in Carlsbad with her husband Matt and four children (ages 8, 12, 14 and 17) who have each attended El Camino Creek.

Pingree received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and is a certified secondary public school teacher, who also has master’s degrees in Public Administration and Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University

She works in Human Resource Management for a Fortune 500 company, and has been actively involved in volunteering at EUSD schools for the past 12 years by serving on the PTA board for four years as VP of Legislation and Financial Secretary.

Pingree has also been on the School Site Council for four years and has volunteered both in the classroom and in art education for the past 12 years.

1. What specific qualities or experience do you have that make you the right choice for the EUSD board?

My graduate studies in both Public Administration and Industrial and Labor Relations, and subsequent career in Human Resource Management for a Fortune 500 company, have prepared me to effectively lead in both the public and private sector. I’ve learned the importance of, and value, in seeking the inclusion and buy-in from stakeholders in the decision-making process. My open, collaborative and inclusive leadership style has increased my effectiveness in my many years of volunteer work at our school, including four years on the PTA board (Financial Secretary and VP of Legislation), four years on the School Site Council and 12 years in the classroom. I understand the needs of our students and how to work well with teachers, site administrators and other volunteers to get results. Being certified as a public school teacher allows me to understand many of the issues facing our teachers.

2. Please choose one key issue you see as very important for EUSD at this time and, if elected, how you would tackle that issue?

Fiscal integrity: California has the largest class size of any state. EUSD class sizes have increased and are larger than Del Mar, Solana Beach and Cardiff school districts. If elected, class size reduction will be a top priority. The school board continues to fund costly projects that don’t support the academic needs of students. They recently adopted a budget that allocates hundreds of thousands of dollars for a non-academic enrichment program, while continuing to ask parents to raise nearly $2 million to pay the majority of science, PE, technology, reading and music teachers’ salaries. There is $0 in the district budget for textbooks, books and curriculum materials. There are great initiatives the district could fund, but the priority should be first funding the academic needs of students. I will prioritize the funding of core curriculum including science, math, reading, writing, PE, special education and gifted education.

3. What are some other issues you see as important for EUSD at this time and, if elected, how would you tackle those issues?

Accountability: According to the California School Board Association, “The role of the school board is to ensure school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of their constituents.” Many feel concerns brought before the school board go unheard and the priorities of the school board members are not the priorities of their constituents. Community members want greater input as to how taxpayer dollars are spent in the education of their children. I will actively engage with community members when making decisions. My voting record will reflect the priorities of community members.

Transparency: School board members have violated the Brown Act, and our district has been rated by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association as the second-least transparent school district in all of San Diego County. The district budget is notoriously opaque, and the public is unable to ascertain how money is being spent. If elected, I pledge to lead with the highest level of integrity by following all laws governing the school board. I will make sure the public has access to all the information the board uses when making its decisions and advocate for a more transparent budget.

4. What do you see as some of the best things about EUSD?

We have outstanding and committed teachers in our district who work tirelessly to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our children. We need to do everything we can to support their efforts in the classroom. We have a tremendous army of parent volunteers who spend countless hours volunteering in the classroom, running PTA programs, monitoring school traffic, teaching art lessons and raising money among many other things. We have strong collaboration between parents, teachers, staff and site administration at the school level.

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