Saturday, September 19, 2020

CUSD Board Candidate Stacy Keszei Firm on Positions

Stacy KeszeiCoronado Unified School District governing board candidate Stacy Keszei is quick speaking and full of passion; and she stands by her opinion on today’s controversial topics.

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One of the first concepts she shares is “keeping Coronado schools at the center of excellence.” To her, this includes a strong governance, providing tools to educate and learn, and being actively involved at each school.

Stacy would like to see a strong governance that is not motivated by emotions in this emotionally heightened time. She elaborates, “there needs to be transparency at all levels for any curriculum change. Radical change can affect students.”

When it comes to making sure all players have the tools they need to educate and learn, Stacy has hands-on experience. She is a university professor and knows what young people need to be successful at each level and in their career path. Stacy anticipates upcoming state constraints and is focused on embracing all students as they will be vulnerable.

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Visiting all CUSD schools on a regular basis is a high priority for Stacy. She wants to “be in all the schools and have open communication. We need to work together as a team and identify needs before they come up.”

Inclusivity at CUSD

One of Stacy’s strongest stands is in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. She was out of town during the student led protest, but is firm in her belief that “politics have nothing to do with school. School needs to be about learning.” When asked what CUSD can do to improve teaching and discipline as it relates to diversity and inclusion, Stacy shares that CUSD already has steps in place for this. She does say, “if action steps aren’t effective, the board can address them, but we need to focus on education.”

Stacy does not waiver as she discusses inclusion at the staff/admin level. “There are state mandates that you cannot hire or fire based on race, sexual orientation, etc.” She admits that she is not privy currently to the hiring practices but suggests they should look at the pool of applicants and reach a larger audience. One hurdle she sees is that CUSD does not pay staff as much as other districts do.

Distance Learning

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Another important aspect of her campaign is distance learning. Stacy is a firm believer that “kids need to get back to school.” During her own teaching at the university level, her students say “that [distance learning] is not as effective as hands-on learning. They need 360 learning – touch, talk, support. The school is doing the best they can, and they are doing better than spring, but technology is difficult.”

Holding true to her belief that the board members should have equal interest in each school, Stacy walks through how she sees distance learning affecting students at each level. She sees elementary students suffering the most, middle school students less engaged, and high schoolers concerned about their preparedness to move on to the next level. Stacy sees the schools needing to do a lot of catch-up, which is difficult. She is also understanding of working parents. “Parents have to work. I have to work and I have young kids.” Finally, Stacy sees schools providing a normalcy that students are really lacking right now.

Spending and Budget

Regarding CUSD spending and its budget, fostering the relationship with the Coronado Schools Foundation is essential. Stacy also asks, “Are we utilizing the full resources of our teachers holistically?” pointing out that some teacher assistants are not in class right now and wanting to confirm schools are still utilizing them to their full potential. Stacy would like to take a firmer look at the budget to identify specific areas of improvement.

Lease Terms for Child Development Center

In June, the Navy and CUSD agreed on lease terms for a Navy Child Development Center at Coronado’s Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Stacy admits it is easier to be the Monday night quarterback now, but she thinks it was a bad idea. “Looking back, we had a great space and we could have moved some classrooms there. When you have property in Coronado, you don’t let it go.” She says she understands the reasoning by the decision, but with the information now, CUSD could use the space.

Stacy’s Coronado Experience

Stacy and her husband have been visiting Coronado since the ’90s. After spending three years in the cold weather of Scotland, they made the leap in 2012 to settle down in Coronado. “We wanted to provide a great school for our kids and not move them around,” Stacy explains. While Stacy is a marathon runner and enjoys CrossFit, her kids like Coronado for the surf. “Coronado is so unique and diverse with the military and multi-generational families. You also have access to everything by bike!”

Final Thoughts

Stacy would like to extend a big Thank You to the teachers and schools. “People are frustrated but they are doing their best. Distance learning is difficult for all. It’s not easy but the front line workers really are our teachers.” She adds, “A shout out to Ms. Mellina (principal of Coronado Middle School) and Dr. Bergener (Village Elementary principal) and all the teachers who are working very hard through this challenging time.” Stacy is committed to everyone coming together to work as a team and getting everyone back to school.

To learn more about Stacy and her campaign or to donate, visit: http://parentsinvolved.org/ 

 

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Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa is a graduate of Coronado High School and was in the founding broadcast journalism class at CHS. She earned her BA in Communication from CSU East Bay and completed her MBA from CSU San Marcos. Her passion for writing and interest in the behind the scenes of business, leads her to write frequently about Coronado businesses. You can find Alyssa walking around the ferry landing with her husband and shih-tzu terrier or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of Coronado's favorite cafes.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: manager@coronadotimes.com
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