This election is an important one. I would like to explain why I believe I am the best candidate for the South Orange County Community College District board of trustees.
I am a lifelong South Orange County resident who served in the California Army National Guard, completed an associate’s degree at Saddleback College, earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the California State University system and graduated from Pepperdine University with a doctorate degree in education.
I proudly serve as a consultative school board member at Santa Margarita Catholic High School (my alma mater), chairman of the World Affairs Council of Orange County, a member of the board of directors of the Society of Educators and Scholars and a faculty member at Chapman and Brandman universities. I authored two books; one is a local history book focusing on southeast Orange County’s ranch heritage. The European Union selected me as one of 18 Americans to travel to Brussels earlier this year to meet with government officials as a citizen diplomat and discuss education policy. I am a passionate and active leader in the community.
Our state public education system is in crisis and I am fearful of the direction the district’s colleges are taking under the existing leadership. Based on my skills and experience, I know I am uniquely qualified to help lead the district in an era of fiscal turmoil.
In addition, I am the only candidate in this race who signed a pledge promising to reject health benefits if elected. Part-time public officials should not receive full-time benefits.
My goals for the district are to:
- Lead our community colleges despite dramatic budget challenges. I will actively work to implement a major fundraising initiative that reaches out to alumni and others in the private sector.
- Work hard to ensure student retention and success as a response to high drop-out rates. We will do this by redefining our academic counseling practices and establishing well-defined student educational plans early.
- Encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career readiness by improving collaboration efforts with K-12 institutions to develop common standards for STEM occupations.
- Work to include cutting-edge technology and curricula.
- Ensure that our district always strives to lead trends in higher education. Recent accreditation issues at the Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College libraries are a reflection of poor leadership. I will never allow this.
Above all, I look forward to collaborating with students, faculty, administrators, staff members and citizens to ensure we have a district that is the best it can be.
We have major choices to make. I am neither a career politician nor backed by the political establishment. My goal is to shake up the establishment and scrutinize every taxpayer dollar we spend. I promise always to work hard for you and help our community colleges reach their full potential.
I ask for your vote. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.