Dear Editor – Compelled to Vote for Kelly Kent

Light-bulb-0003-300x198Dr. Kelly Kent exudes intelligence, ingenuity and integrity. She is an incredibly positive force of nature brimming with creative ideas and love for our community. One can’t help but adore and be in awe of this woman. Hands-on mom of two, Dr. Kelly holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience, is founder and director of a reputable educational firm, lecturer at two local colleges, and as if that is not already enough, she is also a city commissioner and dedicated schoolcommunity volunteer.

Kelly and I became instant friends as active parent volunteers at Lin Howe Elementary, where I co-led the green team over the past several years. I can personally attest she is a pure delight to collaborate with on any project. She is a great listener, leader and problem solver. Kelly has been particularly integral to greening up our campus, including supporting the edible garden, and bringing zero period Spanish language classes to our children.

As the Co-Chair of our District’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, I am especially heartened by Kelly’s commitment to forwarding sustainability at CCUSD. She understands the gravity of climate change and realizes the pressing importance of having our community be part of the solution, for the health and wellbeing of our children. It is also clear to Kelly that a systemic and enduring commitment to sustainability will provide our children opportunities to become eco-literate and build life-long environmental leadership skills that will serve them well in the 21st Century.

CCUSD is already on the path toward becoming an inspiring beacon of sustainability. Over the past several years, CCUSD has made commendable strides in developing and implementing sustainability-oriented projects and programs (e.g. the board-appointed ESC, the “Whole Child” and “Inspired Living” programs, the solar project, Green5, Walk and Rollers, and a new partnership with Power Save Alliance etc.), however we have yet to implement a comprehensive and integrative approach. Kelly is just the person to help lead this effort.

Especially dear to her heart, she has expressed interest in supporting healthier options in our school cafeterias, moving from less processed and packaged foods to more whole and nutritious foods. Moreover, she is interested in exploring ways the District can create partnerships with local organic farms. This has been done in numerous school districts across the country. We can and should do it here too for our children.

Kelly shares my sustainability vision to reduce our collective carbon footprint and create an award-wining energy and water efficient District, complete with more renewable energy and native and drought-tolerant learning gardens. Furthermore, she supports the integration of sustainability principles and guidelines into new construction, renovations, operations and maintenance, procurement and transportation.

Compassionate, creative, and on the cutting-edge, Kelly is beyond qualified for this position. She is a perfect fit. Join me in supporting Dr. “Kelly Green” Kent for CCUSD School Board. Our children’s future will be brighter, and greener, for it!

-Shea Cunningham

The Actors' Gang


  1. What a refreshing contrast to the piece published by UPCC member Madeline Ehrlich.

    While Ehrlich lambasted Dr. Kelly Kent for avoiding certain questions at the League of Women Voters Forum, I wonder what message UPCC-backed candidates convey to voters by deeming such questions as the following unworthy of their response?
    • What are the biggest barriers to learning for low-income students?
    • Which student populations need to be better served?
    • What is the value in each school having a diverse faculty?
    • What board decisions will help preserve the positive relationship between the school board and the teachers union?
    • What ideas do you have for expanding sustainability projects at CCUSD?

    I am pleased to report that Dr. Kelly Kent, Culver City Community Coalition’s endorsed candidate for school board, addressed these questions and more at the League of Women Voters Forum.

    Dr. Kent went far beyond “the bond, the bond, the bond” mantra that I heard repeatedly from UPCC-endorsed candidates—the same contrived, distorted wedge issue they manufactured to defeat incumbent Karlo Silbiger in his 2013 bid for re-election, insisting that he did not support the bond.

    Now UPCC-backed candidates are trying to do the same thing with Dr. Kelly Kent, publicly attacking and dismissing her with such comments as “We don’t need another smart person on the board. We already have a rocket scientist.”

    I have a feeling that UPCC’s tactics will backfire on them, as Dr. Kelly Kent continues to stand tall with integrity, wisdom and vision.

  2. Um…as a member of the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee I am confused by the mention of the bond as a “distorted wedge issue.” It is an extremely important issue to our school system and our community. It was important enough that over 75% of the people who voted supported the bond.

    It is not the only issue the School Board has to deal with, but it is time-sensitive. The Board is currently deciding how to allocate the first $25.5 million, which is an extraordinarily involved and complex process including hiring architects, dealing with State of California requirements, American’s with Disability Act issues, finessing and coping with obstructive court decisions, and dealing with all construction issues as they arise.

  3. The bond issue may be an important issue, but it is NOT the most important issue or challenge we face. The reason it is a “distorted wedge issue” is because it resonates with a group that is “bond centric” and apparently is pitting the members of that group against others that feel the most important focus should be on academic achievement and curriculum.

    I think the questions posed by the coalition represent much more important challenges to the district. How children learn, how we can bridge the achievement gap, etc., etc. are issues that we must address as our children prepare to move into the real world. How we can prepare them to do that is THE critical issue we should be focusing on….not on how quickly the bond money is being spent. Talk of more academies at the high school level doesn’t solve any of the problems we are seeing with children at the elementary level that are having difficulty mastering basic concepts.

    All of the issues Ms. Wallace mentions with regard to the bond are currently being dealt with effectively by the district administration and current board. I am sure they are working through the complex process already….not just waiting around for the newly elected board members to “come show them the way”.

    But, considering that it IS a complex process, it obviously is taking time to get it right. Do we want it right or do we want it fast? And for that matter, what could any newly elected board member possibly do to hasten that process? Making campaign promises to that effect serves no purpose when it would be impossible to deliver on them.


    Debbie Hamme

  4. I concur with current Board of Education President NANCY GOLDBERG: “Nancy Goldberg
    10.09.2015 AT 11:59 AM
    I support Kelly Kent, and I’m no hysteric. The emphasis on bond experience by Anne and Scott puzzles me. From my board experience, the only truly knowledgeable bond specialists at our district are consultants hired for their unique skills.

    My credentials for joining the board hardly included any financial acumen. My only contributions have been in the areas of student health and safety, as well as curriculum.

    Kelly has a substantial support network, a loving contributing family and enough juggling ability to keep many balls (i.e. obligations) in the air at the same time. It’s comforting to know
    Kelly’s personal and academic background; she measures up as a responsive, kind neighbor. Most impressive are Kelly’s honest responses to questions. At the candidate panels that I’ve attended, she has consistently emphasized the importance of the students and their kindergarten through twelfth grade educational experience.

    Bond decisions are important, and board members will need to do a lot of homework to make wise decisions. However, my concerns are the students presently achieving their educations. How will the bond projects interfere with this generation’s educational opportunities?

    For example, where will AVPA students perform while their performance area is being renovated? These student considerations should always take priority, because we have only this twelve year period within which to prepare our children for their entire lives. To be effective in that role, board members must prioritize the present students’ needs. Kelly will look out for those day to day realities that are essential to the creation of a complete individual.
    Over the next four years, board members will likely struggle to keep present students’ needs at the forefront of their decisions. There will be a tendency to try to wrap up the various bond projects to achieve that satisfying, “We did it!” feeling, but the board must temper their decisions with a constant review of, “What is best for the students in our schools, right now?”

    Putting students at the forefront of the decisions that we make as a board has been and should continue to be our policy. That position is hardly hysterical.”

  5. I appreciate the title of this column. I am compelled to vote for Kelly for three reasons:

    * She is a parent and she is an educator. Having both perspectives allows her to see the work of the Board both from the perspective of the professionals who work in the schools and from the perspective of the parents being served.

    * Kelly understands that parent organizing involves empowerment. By developing the Spanish program at Linwood Howe, she has helped parents see that the school appreciates their skills and values their language and culture. This work is essential for improving school culture and academic achievement.

    * Kelly brings a fresh perspective to the Board. Her knowledge of how brain science can enhance learning and her experience supporting teachers will help our community understand how ALL students can be supported to reach their potential, not just some children. I know that she believes that every child should be prepared to graduate ready to go to college or prepared for a career, and this is fundamental to making sure that our schools serve our entire community well.

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