I am writing in support of Nancy Goldberg’s campaign for school board. Like what feels like half the population of Culver City, I was taught more than just English by Nancy Goldberg in High School. I want to speak not to her experience, which speaks for itself, but for her incredible resilience and ability not only to adapt to change, but to make it work in her student’s favor. In the classroom, Goldberg has an uncanny ability to find the seeds of creativity in even the most disruptive behavior. I’ll never forget the day when, after I had been acting out in class, Ms Goldberg took me aside and put a book into my hands. “This is The Great Gatsby,” she told me, “And next month, if you’re willing, I want *you* to teach it.” Two months later and years wiser I returned to my seat with a new-found respect for literature, for how darned hard teaching is, and for myself. Where another teacher would have sighed or shouted, time and again I watched Goldberg working *with* rather than against students, patiently steering them through their own interest to achievements they never would have imagined possible. I have never had a teacher so conscious that children are people too, nor so deft, subtle, and patient as Nancy Goldberg.
So how does this translate to the School Board? First, Nancy Goldberg does not just understand students. She makes them. Second, I have faith that whatever the State of California can throw at her in these uncertain times, Goldberg will do her utmost to protect the interest of students and put their development center stage. Finally, her empathy and talent for creating win-win situations will make her an invaluable team player, someone who gets things done and isn’t afraid to forge consensus through debate. After all, the woman skillfully managed the hidden politics of almost 200 kids a day for 40 years. Just the words ‘School Board’ terrify me. Ms Goldberg? She calls it her retirement.