Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 5:58 am | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

2010 Goleta Union School Board Candidate Q&A with Pam Kinsley

NOOZHAWK: What motivated you to run for the Goleta Union School District Board of Education? Explain your decision process.

PAM KINSLEY: Having recently retired from teaching for more than 35 years in an elementary school in Santa Barbara, I wanted to continue to be involved in public education and to help keep it as outstanding as ever. Recent publicity surrounding public education seems to dwell on the negative. I would like to promote the positive.

NOOZHAWK: What unique experience or expertise do you have that is making a difference on the Goleta school board?

PK: 
I taught in many different grade levels and with different administrators under varying conditions and have the first-hand experience to determine what works and what doesn’t. Also, as a member of the state Department of Education Public Schools Accountability Act advisory committee, I have attended meetings in Sacramento that deal with different test scoring models and understand how they affect schools and school districts.

NOOZHAWK: Public school funding in California seems to be in a perpetual state of crisis. Other than its status as a basic-aid district, how is the Goleta Union School District prepared to withstand funding pressures at the state level? What can the district do to strengthen itself at the local level?


PK: 
I was pleased to see that the district supported the recent lawsuit against the state of California regarding education funding as a step in the direction to bring funding back to the local level. Grants and other funding areas need to be looked at as long as there are no “strings” attached. One way would be to investigate solar energy to save electricity costs.

NOOZHAWK: What do you see as the most pressing issue the Goleta Union School District will face in the next five years?

PK: 

The most pressing issue is the emphasis on test scores and evaluation methods that punish schools and employees rather than provide resources. The purpose of test scores should be to determine which students need extra help. Schools should also not be forced to “teach to the test” but should provide a well-rounded curriculum for all students.

NOOZHAWK: Do you support Measure Q, the $75 million school bond for Dos Pueblos High, Goleta Valley Junior High and other secondary schools in the Santa Barbara School Districts? Why or why not?

PK: 

Yes, I do support Measure Q for the secondary schools as this would provide much-needed improvements, such as upgraded heating systems and kitchens.

NOOZHAWK: Assess the Goleta Union School District’s infrastructure needs.


PK: The district has done an excellent job of keeping track of maintenance needs at each school. There have been presentations on solar energy and more research needs to be made in this area. There should be input from all of the employees and parents. as well, as to the needs of each school. Brandon School had a need for a multipurpose room and achieved that goal through the hard work of the district and parents.

NOOZHAWK: Is the Goleta Union School District doing enough to provide its students with technology training? Name an initiative that it does well.


PK: Even though the Goleta school district is doing an excellent job with technology training, there could always be more since technology is changing so quickly. One way to improve would be to have more professional development for teachers using UCSB as a resource. Many student teachers could provide after school-classes so students could get even more technology training.

NOOZHAWK: Nonprofit organizations and foundations are taking a more active role as school partners to tackle specific needs, such as nutrition. Does the Goleta Union School District fully embrace such partnerships? Name an example of a successful relationship. Name a void that might be filled by such an arrangement.

PK: 
One void that might be filled is that of having more minority girls interested in math and science. Research has shown that this is a weak area in many school districts. The AAUW (American Association of University Women) provides a summer class in math and science for junior high minority girls. They learn such fun things as making a robot and learning how to use microscopes — just like in CSI! I have seen the excitement these girls have shown after this experience. This is an idea that should be used with upper-grade girls in the Goleta school district.

NOOZHAWK: What is the Goleta Union School District’s greatest asset?

PK: The schools strive to provide a well-rounded curriculum for all students, without the over-emphasis on test scores. Also, a program has begun that identifies the students who need extra help and those students are then followed for progress, so no student “falls between the cracks.” When needs arise, such as for English language learners, the district provides a program to meet their needs.

NOOZHAWK: Which teacher has had the biggest impact on your children, or yourself? How?


PK: Mrs. Peterson (now retired) has had the biggest impact on my daughter since she was her kindergarten teacher and helped to instill a love of learning and at the same time made school fun! She was patient and understanding, and also had excellent communication with parents.

NOOZHAWK: How can voters learn more about your candidacy?

PK: 
I will have an ad on Noozhawk listing my endorsements, and voters can inquire with the United Teaching Profession of Goleta since I have been endorsed by them, after I participated in their forum.

NOOZHAWK: The Goleta Union School District’s Web site features a rainbow of schoolchildren on a playground. If re-elected, will you help us replace that picture with an assembly of kids in the form of Noozhawk’s logo?


PK: 
I will agree only if the majority of the board also agrees as well as the superintendent.

Related Articles

» Click here for Valerie Kushnerov’s Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Rich Mayer’s Noozhawk Q&A.

[Noozhawk’s note: Goleta Union School board candidate Tammy Merritt did not respond to Noozhawk’s invitation to participate in our candidate Q&As.]

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