Published in the October 24 – November 6, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Walt Glines

Gavilan College, approaching its 100th anniversary, is striving to serve the community’s ever-changing needs.

I’m a 53-year South County resident and Gilroy High graduate. I attended Gavilan in its last year at the Hollister Airport campus and first year at the then new college in Gilroy before transferring to a state university. I worked at the local newspapers in a variety of capacities for almost four decades.

I’ve served on the Gavilan board for two consecutive four-year terms. I’m a strong advocate of fiscal responsibility. I also am vocal — some even say strident — in support of student issues and rights. I am a founding member (vice president) of the Latino Advisory Board.

As a trustee, I have pushed to set goals for higher graduation rates and increased speed for students to gain a wide range of transfer degrees and complete certificate programs. With completion of education and facilities master plans in the past two years, Gavilan has the blueprints to prepare students for success in a dynamic and multicultural world.

Too large a percentage of students take too long to graduate, transfer to a four-year college or university or earn a certificate of completion. Some change is now under way but the pace is too slow.

The Measure X bond issue, also on the November ballot, will provide needed funding for improved facilities in all three communities that make up the district. It will upgrade and add classrooms, labs and career training facilities for science, healthcare, technology, public safety, cyber security, and other growing industries. It will also improve counseling, job training, support facilities,and services for returning veterans, improve local access to affordable, high quality education by repairing, constructing and acquiring classrooms, facilities, sites and equipment and start the addition of an eventual college campus in San Benito County.

As the board and administration collaborate to improve academic rigor including appropriate educational technology, meeting community needs and increasing our accessibility, we build a better community.

I have been a member of the Gilroy General Plan advisory committee and was one of the founding members of the Smart Growth measure that resulted in Gilroy voters overwhelming endorsing the initiative. I also have been a member of Gilroy General Plan Advisory Committee and chair of the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency Public Advisory. My son, Ben Glines, lives in Gilroy with his children who attend Rod Kelley Elementary School.

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