Calexico School Board Candidate’s

By Mario Conde

After many years of service in the educational community, Norma Aguilar decided to run for the Calexico School Board this year.

Born and raised in Calexico, Aguilar attended Calexico’s schools and worked for the Calexico Unified School District for 17 years as campus security and while working there she was heavily involved in student organizations encouraging students to go to college and expand their horizons, she said. After that she went from working for the school district to the Imperial Valley Press, and six months after that was hired by San Diego State University and has been working as a freshman recruiter for the last four years.

Her top priorities if elected to the Calexico School board is to make sure the district’s money is spent responsibly in regards to expenditures of the school district. “We need to sustain and increase the level of number of students we are sending to college. In addition to making sure if they are not going to college that they are well prepared to go the job force.” Aguilar believes that every student has the capacity to go to hired education and that is one of her major focuses if elected to the local school board.

Aguilar said that is also important the District to identify and create additional revenue into the district. “Let’s also create a more reliable way to communication with parents and residents of Calexico so they can be more involved in the decision making that affects their kids. I want to make it my commitment to visit each schools site on a regular basis.”

When asked how she would work to bring more efficiency to the district, the candidate said that the district needs to identify and set key goals for the Superintendent, administration, and for the district overall. “We need to set those goals and we need to have that in order to have a way of measuring how well our staff, our administration, and our district are meeting those goals.” She said. Aguilar said that the district should focus on identifying strategies to bring increase revenue and finding ways to keep kids in school and find ways to have kids in schools since that will bring more revenue through food services, according to her, and making sure cost are kept and managed in a responsible manner.

Working on the District’s image is also part of Aguilar’s platform saying that the district should improve its communication problem that exist between community and the school district and said that a way solve it is by making the community part of the solution and have them provide them with ways of being more informed rather than only using the website and the automated phones.

When asked about her opinion on the work of the superintendent, Aguilar said that the board should identify the goals the board has set for her and that will measure the work she has done and her accomplishments.

The other candidate for Calexico School Board is Joong Kim who after being active in the educational community has decided to be in the decision making process by running for Calexico School Board.

Kim was raised by a single mother in Korea in a very difficult economic time in his home country.  Kim was encouraged to study and improve his knowledge and education which he did. When he came to Calexico 30 years ago, he decided to be a business person. With his work he was able to raise his two children along with his wife to a better life. His youngest son graduated in 2010 from Calexico High School and was the Valedictorian of the Class and he’s currently attending UC Berkeley.  Kim has also involved in several other organizations such as President of the Calexico Micro Business Association in 1989, Calexico Business Improvement District Board member in 2003, and president of the Calexico Parents-Teachers Association charter in 2009.

Kim says that these 21 months that he has attended every single school board meeting expressing concerns about children and family benefit. Kim says that he has spoken to the board and has pointed out their mistakes and problems that they haven’t solved.  The candidate says that if elected his priority would be taking care of expenditures and save in order to direct the money to hire more teachers since he says that at times students have a rotation of substitute teachers and says it’s unacceptable. He also said that the district should have more grants and also wants the district to assist family matters and problems that the kids might have at home because it affects their school performance. Kim says by having the district reaching those problems and helping their families it will make the student focus in their studies. Kim said that he will work to eliminate and control the “Compadre System” that is affecting the schools and the society right now. “We need to clean those that are affecting our educational system and have people qualified people on key positions and not people without qualifications given jobs because he/she knows someone. That also affects the students and their academic achievement” Kim said.

The candidate said that Kids should learn something besides their academic programs at school given them the opportunity of having high school students learn more vocational programs and learn at least one type of life skill before they leave high school. Kim said that this will benefit the future college student get a job with the skill they have learned.

“I’ve been at every school board meeting for the last 21 months and expressing myself to the board members of what is parents and students need. We have so many things that we need to take care of and have so little parent involvement that I’m the one that has to stand up for parents interest.” Kim said.

The main problem that Kim believes that needs to be solved in the District is the administration for not doing their job right and also pointed out that the school board has failed to give administration their task for doing their job right.

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