Endorsed by the Teachers of Encinitas, incumbent candidate Patricia S. Sinay has served as an EUSD school board member since being appointed in 2015.
She and her husband Art Schmidt have two children, fifth-grader Solimar and third-grader Marcos, who are in the bilingual program at Paul Ecke Central.
An immigrant from Latin America, Sinay received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA, then earned a master’s in International Affairs from American University.
Sinay has worked for The San Diego and The San Francisco Foundations, as well as the American Cancer Society as part of her 25 years of experience working with nonprofits. She is the founder of the consulting firm Community Investment Strategies, a “tenured” lecturer at UC San Diego on Public Service and this year served on the executive team of Blue Star Families, a national organization assuring that military families thrive.
Sinay has served on the two advisory committees of First 5 San Diego as well as the Chicano Federation’s Head Start Policy Council for its Encinitas/Solana Beach sites, and is a founding member of Women Give San Diego and Latina Giving Circle San Diego.
She also been named to San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s “40 Under Forty” honor roll of young, community leaders, was a finalist for the Union-Tribune’s San Diego Latino Champions Award and was selected for the California Hispanas Organized for Political Equality leadership institute in 2015.
1. What specific qualities or experience do you have that make you the right choice for re-election to the EUSD board?
I am an educator. I have professional experience working in early education and elementary school classrooms. I am currently a “tenured” lecturer at UCSD teaching public service. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to be part of the solution in some of the low-income communities and on key educational issues.
I am a community builder. Through years of working with diverse communities, I have developed a comfort level and the skills needed to bring together different stakeholders to define shared visions and create roadmaps which lead to success.
I am a lifelong learner. As a parent, I knew that our schools were working. I participated in the appointment process because I wanted to understand how the district leads these efforts, and thus to increase my ability to be a better advocate for all students. As part of this process, I am continually asking questions and seeking different perspectives.
2. Please choose one key issue you see as very important for EUSD at this time and, if re-elected, how you would tackle that issue?
Our teachers have been very busy the past several years learning and implementing the new California math and English standards. The recent state test scores confirm that our teachers are doing a great job. We now need to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. Students have always been taught in science though now teachers have an opportunity to do so in a more engaging way. As with the other standards, the district will need to assure that teachers are well trained in the curriculum, have the resources needed, and that we are coordinating the teaching of the standards with San Dieguito Union High School District. Moreover, because learning does not mirror the way many of us were taught (which is a very good thing), the district will need to continue to inform families and the larger community on best ways they can help our students succeed in science.
3. What are some other issues you see as important for EUSD at this time and, if re-elected, how would you tackle those issues?
I support excellent public education for all students. Though we have strong California test scores, when the data is viewed by subpopulations, achievement differences become apparent. For this reason, it is important to continue to innovate and meet each student’s need. We have a strong program for students with special needs throughout the year. English learners (ELs) receive specialized assistance as well. This year, we successfully piloted the EL Summer Academy, a four-week, half-day education program that was taught in English. Moreover, we need to continue to leverage our community partnerships to assure that our families’ basic and educational needs are met.
Another priority is to assure that we continue to create innovative programs that are sustainable long-term. This past year, we worked with the PTAs and principals to create a plan to continue fund health and wellness program as well as support other enrichment programs. This plan is a pilot effort which we need to make sure continues. As we engage in community partnerships, our students need to be at the center of all decisions and we need to have clarity on purpose, outcomes, and how to fund successful programs long-term.
4. What do you see as some of the best things about EUSD?
I was appointed to the Encinitas school board in 2015. Through my tenure, I have learned that our district is excellent with a tradition of high student achievement and award-winning school because we:
• Assure that students are always at the center of all we do;
• Hire, support and retain stellar teachers and staff;
• Support innovation in the classrooms as well as throughout the district;
• Provide our community modern and safe schools;
• Demand fiscal discipline by making certain that the budget is balanced, monies are being used effectively for our students and for the purpose they were intended; and
• Value engagement from all families and the larger community.