Letter to the Editor: Why support the current VUSD School Board?

Dear Editor,

It is no secret that our school district has been declining for several years. When you’re voting in this election, please consider the following facts:

The current board consists of six new board members added since 2018. Two board members were elected in 2018; two were elected in 2020, and two were appointed in late 2021. Juan Guerrero has been on the board for some time and was instrumental in pushing through the new changes in the district. We basically have a relatively new board who together have made significant improvements in the district. They have emphasized getting back to the basics with a goal of improving our educational process.

I suggest you go to visaliachamber.org and go to their October 2022 newsletter and read the profile of all the candidates for the VUSD school board. All current board members and their challengers have similar goals according to their profiles.

The current board didn’t wait for an election to change the direction of the schools. They worked very hard to turn our district around, turning vision into action many months ago. They have listened to the community. They started with a plan, then brought in a new superintendent to implement it. While the board challengers have made some good points, the current board has already put into place changes that the challengers referenced in their chamber profiles.

The new superintendent is Kirk Shrum. I had an opportunity to meet with him at an informal meeting a few months ago. He reviewed with us his plans as determined collaboratively with the current board members and how he intends to achieve them. Superintendent Shrum discussed changes already made as well as plans for future changes.

The major changes are in academics, accountability, communications and security. Because of limited space I can’t go into a lot of detail but if you want to contact the current board member in your district for an update, I am confident they will respond to you. You can get their contact information on the VUSD web site vusd.org.

There is a new plan in place to improve our schools. An accountability program has been implemented that will allow us to judge how the students are progressing. Change is underway, and we will have solid information on students’ academic growth on which we can judge the current board and the superintendent. 

I will be supporting all current board members for reelection, but I can only vote for one board member. Walta Gamoian is my board representative, and I will vote for her. I met Walta when she was canvassing the neighborhood in 2018.  Walta still has the same drive as she did when I first met her, which is improving the quality of education at VUSD.

Voting is important. Please vote for the candidate of your choice.

Sincerely,

Harold Myers

Visalia resident

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