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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
School

Vallejo City Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Melissa Bandong Bowman

Melissa Bandong Bowman

Public School Librarian
7,821 votes (11.34%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure the safety of our students and staff at all of our VCUSD campuses.
  • Open and transparent communication between the District and the community, while ensuring the right to privacy when appropriate.
  • Rebuild trust between the parents, staff and within the school board.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Public School Librarian
Teacher Librarian, Tamalpais Union High School District (2014–current)
Vice Chair, City of Vallejo Architectural Heritage and Landmarks Commission — Appointed position (2014–current)
Teacher Librarian, San Francisco Unified School District (2013–2014)
Teacher Librarian, Plano Independent School District, Texas (1998–2013)
Band Director, McKinney Independent School District, Texas (1991–1998)
Assistant Band Director, Lewisville Independent School District (1986–1991)

Education

Texas Womans' University Master of Library Science, Library and Information Studies (2002)
University of North Texas Bachelor of Music, Music Education (1986)
North Hollywood High School Diploma, Music (1979)

Community Activities

Board Member, Friends of Loma Vista Farm (2016–current)
National Vice Chair, National Showcase, United States Figure Skating (2002–current)
Maverick Graphic Novel Selection Committee, Texas Library Association (2013–2013)
President and Board Member, Stars Figure Skating Club dba Lone Star Figure Skating Club, Texas (2002–2013)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Napa-Solano Central Labor Council
  • Community Democratic Club

Organizations (1)

  • Evolve-ca.org

Individuals (2)

  • Dr. Tony Ubalde
  • Dr. Tom Snyder

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Melissa Bandong Bowman:

Part of the requirement for the Funding Provisions includes that the Local Education Agencies obtains parental and public input for accountability. Meetings within high school attendance zones will be held in order to obtain this input and to disseminate information. Meetings will be held at times when commuting parents may attend to ensure transparency.

Questions from League of Women Voters (2)

What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the district today and what are your plans for addressing this issue?
Answer from Melissa Bandong Bowman:

The most pressing issue facing the district is its reputation. Admittedly, the reputation starts at the governing board level. My plan is to restore functionality within the board. I will ensure that all on the board understand its role. I have worked for outstanding school districts, taken leadership roles within other governing boards and those best practices are embedded in my habits. All of this will be done with respect for my fellow board members.

What ideas do you have for improving the high school graduation rate in our district?
Answer from Melissa Bandong Bowman:

It is imperative that we offer relevant coursework for our students. I had a conversation about this with one of my senior class students the other day. She knows she isn’t college bound, but she does believe in the value of reading, study and preparation for her adult life that will start in a few months. I have brought her information about job hunting and resume building. She and I discussed the need for Life Skills classes. My student is waking up to adulthood and is dismayed that her fellow students, even the college-bound ones don’t know how to “adult”: many don’t know how to cook, do laundry or perform simple fix-it jobs in their dwellings. Students within Vallejo USD have given up a few short months before graduation because they are discouraged by being put into a college track instead of a more relevant trades apprentice track. Let’s capture these students back by offering meaningful curriculum and let them experience some early success in their lives.

Questions from League of Women Voters (1)

What proposed policies or programs do you have planned or in place to ensure that graduates are better equipped to succeed after high school graduation either working in the new economy or continuing with higher education?    
Answer from Melissa Bandong Bowman:

The California Department of Education (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/)  has a wealth of information regarding this matter. It is important the we provide both a career track and a college preparatory track for our diverse students. Also, we need to bring back our teacher librarians into our school libraries. Currently, our libraries are understaffed. Our library clerks work very hard but they cannot do it all. State standards dictate that every library should be staffed by a certified teacher librarian and a classified staff member. Studies show that a vibrant school library program is critical to student success. (https://www.lrs.org/data-tools/school-libraries/impact-studies/)

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