Submitted by Shane Durkin
Friends and Neighbors,
This letter is to affirm my support for Nick Kato to be elected to the Coronado School Board. I moved to Coronado in 2009 following graduation from the US Naval Academy to serve as an officer in the Navy SEAL Teams. Following my military service, I attended business school at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business only to return to Coronado where I launched my own business, PATRIOT High Performance Homes, which is focused on building durable, energy efficient, healthy homes. I am now old enough to recognize and appreciate the value of the education I received as a young kid all the way through graduate school; I certainly would not be where I am today without it. Now with two children of my own (ages 3 & 1), I want them to have access to the same high-quality learning and growth environments I was fortunate enough to experience myself.
I first met Nick during one of the youth fairs being held down at the Coronado Community Center. Not only are our kids nearly the same ages, but Nick and I share very similar personal interests and I’m happy to call him a close friend of several years now. The first thing that struck me about Nick is how extremely humble he is. Nick has an extremely impressive business background having served as a partner at KPMG at a very young age. That is something that takes a tremendous amount of intellectual rigor and cognitive discipline to be able to achieve, and it was several months into our friendship before Nick even fully revealed that to me. Beyond that, Nick is an extremely personable friend and neighbor often hosting neighborhood social gatherings at his house (pre-COVID of course) for no special occasion other than to bring friends and kids together to enjoy one another’s company.
When I consider the challenges and adversity that Coronado schools are currently facing and will continue to face in the future, there is no one I trust more than Nick to be at the helm providing the school board with sound guidance. He not only has legitimate and practical financial solutions to the school’s funding deficit, but also the determination, mental compass and leadership skills that it will take to ensure good ideas reach implementation. Another area where I think Nick will place a lot of focus and attention is ensuring that we create an environment for our teachers where performance is rewarded. Creating a merit-based culture will help to attract and retain talented educators, which in turn will improve the environment in which our students will learn.
Like Nick and his wife Rika, my wife and I have chosen to call Coronado our home and the place we want to raise our kids largely due to the incredible community and school system. The members of the School Board have an extremely important role and responsibility and I am so grateful that Nick is willing to offer his knowledge and experience to our community to continue improving our schools and way of life. Without question, I give my fullest support for Nick Kato’s candidacy for the Coronado School Board.