The Culver City Community Coalition has endorsed Kelly Kent in her race for a seat on the Culver City School Board. The Community Coalition invited all candidates to participate in the selection process, but the other two candidates, Anne Burke and Scott McVarish, did not respond.
“I am so pleased to endorse Kelly,” said Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City city councilperson. “She will be a strong voice for students, parents and teachers. As a commissioner, Kelly has important experience working on city issues. She will champion valuable collaboration between the school district and the city, which will benefit all residents. I look forward to helping Kelly implement her plan.”
“The endorsement of the Community Coalition means a lot to me,” Kent said, (pictured above with her husband and children) “My values are very much aligned with those of the Coalition, and I welcome the support of this group.”
Dr. Kent is a neuroscientist with a doctorate from the University of Southern California and a commissioner with the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission of Culver City. An active parent of a Linwood E. Howe Elementary School student, she is co-founder of the school’s Spanish enrichment program.
“It’s important that we encourage an educational culture of collaborative team teaching practices, where the teachers are themselves innovators rather than simply implementers,” Kent said. “This must be supported by professional development that includes essential modeling, mentoring and professional learning communities.”
Gary Silbiger, former Culver City city councilperson and former mayor, has endorsed Kent as well. One of the city’s most active environmentalists, Michelle Weiner, said she appreciates Kent’s views on the food served to students, which both believe lack the nutrition necessary for students to prosper.
“Kelly has talked to me about her vision: The CCUSD could purchase food locally from community supported agriculture networks, as some neighboring districts do. The students would eat healthier meals, and buying from local sources would enormously decrease landfill trash from packaging as well as decrease the carbon footprint that results when mass produced public school meals are delivered from far away.
“Kelly also supports the CCUSD sustainability committee’s recommendation on the use of recycled paper, which I would like to see the board adopt,” Weiner said.
Kent has emphasized that all schools in the district must prosper. “I will give a voice to every Culver City school,” she said.
Claudia Vizcarra is a parent of two students in Culver City schools and an expert in education policy. She believes that Kent will be an important advocate for all students.
“Kelly brings a critical perspective to her role as a policy maker,” Vizcarra said. “Her knowledge of neuroscience and her experience supporting teachers to understand what a difference a growth mindset makes in learning is essential. Kelly’s perspective will be important in ensuring the board can embrace its core mission—to ensure success for all students,” Vizcarra said.
Gary Silbiger, Michelle Weiner and Claudia Vizcarra are among the founding members of Community Coalition. Its intent is to improve the life of the community, elect more progressives to the city council and school board, and encourage residents without significant financial resources, People of Color, and non-English speakers to become more civically involved.
The school board election will be held Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
For more information about Kelly Kent’s campaign, visit www.kellyforculvercityschools.com.
For more information about the Culver City Community Coalition, visit www.culvercitycommunitycoalition.net
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