Published in the September 28 – October 11, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life
By Albert Beltran
The opportunity to serve my community is a role I have taken seriously for a number of years. The Morgan Hill and south San Jose community is an important part of my family history. My father’s family came to Morgan Hill in the 1960s. All of my aunts and uncles and most of my cousins graduated from Live Oak High School. And although I attended mostly San Jose schools, I spent half of my 4th grade year at Nordstrom Elementary. My wife and I bought our home near Los Paseos Elementary in 2009. We have two children, our nearly 4-year-old son and nearly 2-year-old daughter.
I’m running on my belief that leadership in education should be based on an understanding of what happens in the classroom, what students need to succeed and what support can be provided. This belief has guided me throughout my college and professional career. I’ve worked with federal and local education policy authors and decision makers for the better part of the past 10 years. While in college I gained critical experiences in the classroom as a student teacher in a child development center and as a substitute teacher. I’ve spent many afternoons as a coach and staff member of an afterschool program. In 2005, I volunteered in Mississippi as “Principal of the Tent School” to support kids going back to school after Hurricane Katrina.
Working with students and teachers after Hurricane Katrina made me truly understand how resilient children are. I saw community leaders in a town with few resources working hard to keep their children safe and supported while learning. That’s why I’m concerned about the district’s school climate survey data. That data is more than numbers to me. Our children are telling us something. I want to help the district by listening and collaborating with other board members to act on our children’s behalf as best I can.
Data is just a starting point for discussion. That’s the approach I’ll take when making my decisions on the Morgan Hill Unified School District board. I’m an internal auditor and analyze data much of the day. My analysis often leads to asking uncomfortable questions. I’ll ask those uncomfortable questions to ensure accountability and transparency, and will do so without alienating myself. I won’t work in a silo. I think there’s an opportunity to improve transparency, accountability and relationships through uncomfortable, yet honest, communication.
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