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Paly Students Weigh in on School Board Candidates

Original post made by Student Advocate, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2012

Paly Students Have Spoken!! The Campanile, Paly�s award-winning student newspaper, has published their recommendations for school board. You can view the Campanile�s recommendations here:

Web Link

Thanks to the Campanile for their in-depth analysis of the issues and candidates. I hope that PA voters take a similar look at the real issues and vote accordingly! The Paly students endorsed Ken Dauber, Melissa Baten Caswell and Heidi Emberling. They had the most praise for Dauber, and they endorsed the issues he supports to increase �student well-being.� The students particularly mentioned Dauber�s concern for implementing advisory at Gunn, limiting homework, having full usage of Schoology at all schools to help students plan their schedules, and using data to make important decisions about the schools. We can truly let our students know that they are being listened to by also supporting the candidates who support the issues they care about!

For those Online Forum readers who may have missed Paly student Brigid Godfrey�s opinion piece (filed in Around Town) published on Sept. 28, I have excerpted part of it here but encourage everyone to take a look at the whole piece as I think she has something very important to say,something that may relate to the Campanile�s highest rated endorsement of Ken. In Brigid�s mini-bio at the bottom of her piece it says that she believes that �teens should be more involved in their communities� and I am glad that she took the time to write about civic engagement.

From Brigid's piece:

"Guest Opinion: For young persons, knowledgeable engagement equals volcano power":
�What do you feel about having finals before the winter break? What would it take to help you feel more "connected," whatever that means, to your school or community?

Do you feel adults listen enough to teens' ideas or suggestions? Which school board or council candidates do you think might be the best listeners to youth?

And are you prepared enough, armed with enough solid information, to say things that are worth the listening time of others? If teens don't care enough to find out the facts and speak out about their thoughts and feelings, what right does anyone have to complain about "not being listened to"? So dig in and speak out, OK? �

Here is the link to Brigid�s opinion piece:

Web Link

Thank you Brigid for publishing the then upcoming candidate forums. There will be at least one more forum coming up this Wed. afternoon (10/24) at Nixon School at Stanford (3pm). When I attended the Paly forum the students were asking excellent questions. I can see why the Campanile students feel that Ken listens to the concerns of youth and will act to see results in improving their academic, social and emotional realities district wide.

Thanks Brigid for encouraging your fellow Paly students to get involved! And thanks again to the Paly students for your endorsements! Well done!

Comments (6)

Like this comment
Posted by Gunn alum
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I agree with the Paly editorial. I work in tech, grew up in PA and live in LAH now. I agree that it is past time to do something to fix Gunn counseling. It was not much help 20 years ago and it doesn't seem that it has improved since. I'm voting for Dauber. He's smart and focused and he's a Google engineer for God sakes. Sounds good to me.

Like this comment
Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

The kids in the high school system are in the best position to judge the merits of each candidate. I would listen to their recommendations.

Like this comment
Posted by Kim Bomar
a resident of Nixon School
on Oct 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Just a correction, but the Nixon/Escondido forum is this Wednesday, Oct. 24th, at 7 pm, not 3 pm as mentioned above. It's at Nixon school, and all are welcome.

I'm glad to see that the Paly students are judging Ken Dauber on his merits. I have attended school board meetings with Ken for two years, during which time he has achieved real results for our students. I know him to be a persistent advocate for students, someone who doesn't mind going out on a limb for them, and who has the courage to act on ample data, rather than waiting for the years to go by. Ken's courageous data-driven analysis and recommendations for student well-being will provide much needed leadership.

Like this comment
Posted by Sally Bemus
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

It is gratifying to know that the Campanile staff is paying attention and appreciates all that Ken is doing to support our students. Thank you Campanile! At the Weekly forum on October 16th when the candidates were challenged to name their number one priority to boost student learning, Ken replied that he would work to ensure the district is listening to students through the use of data. Ken has shown through his tireless efforts advocating at the board for changes that promote student well being that he is listening to our students and often uses their voices captured in data to advocate for them. The board is listening too and has been making progress on the issues that Ken has raised. I hope that the voters listen to our students and vote for Ken Dauber.

Like this comment
Posted by Peggy Duncan
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 23, 2012 at 7:50 am

Peggy Duncan is a registered user.

I have attended 3 of the forums and I agree with the Campanile's opinion about Dauber, although I put Caswell on an equal footing as to her knowledge of the issues and substance. At the forum put on by the Weekly she said that she supports one counseling system at both high schools, so I am not sure what the students are referring to there. I think she and Dauber have similar views. She certainly has a lot of knowledge about the district at her fingertips.

I have found choosing between the other two candidates to be a little vexing. Emberling often fails to answer questions in a clear and straightforward manner, the same problem that the students speak of. Townsend has a better command of the issues but I dislike giving her a third term. I may simply vote for Caswell and Dauber, in order to boost their chances of being elected.

Like this comment
Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Jan H. is a registered user.

I have enjoyed the Campanile since my son went to Paly. They have always had astute and exceptional writers and artists. Back when Bill Hewlett's grandson was on the staff, there were some spot-on articles about Palo Alto PD harassing high-schoolers because they didn't dare hassle their parents.

I am so glad to see that the quality, on-target writing continues.

Thanx, Kids!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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