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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
School

Sacramento County Board of EducationCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 2

Photo of Karina Talamantes

Karina Talamantes

Career Counselor/Businesswoman
11,899 votes (44.8%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Expand access to real-world learning opportunities
  • Review district LCAPs to ensure that resources are targeted to students based on their educational needs
  • Empower classroom teachers by prioritizing professional development that builds school capacity and creates communities of practices.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Career Counselor/ Businesswoman
Business Owner, Frutazo/Maldicion Brand (2012–current)
Career Counselor, Kelly Financial Resources (2015–2018)
University Recruiter, Balance Solutions (2015–2016)
Program Advisor, Educational Talent Search (2012–2015)

Education

University of California, Davis Bachelor of Science: Community Regional Development (2011)

Community Activities

Member, Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel (2012–current)
Alumni, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2011–current)
Board Member, Young Latinas Aspire (2017–current)
Vice President, Green Democrats (2017–current)
Community Affairs Member, Sacramento County Young Democrats (2016–current)

Biography

Karina Talamantes is running for the Sacramento County Board of Education Area 2. Karina's near decade of experience as an educator and career counselor allows her to be a strong advocate for Sacramento students, educators, and community members.

Karina’s students-first philosophy makes her a leader and champion for students in and out of the classroom. Inside the classroom, she has advocated for students as a substitute teacher and student-translator in special education programs.

Outside of the classroom, Karina has advocated for students at the national level, including at the U.S. Department of Education, where she worked with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence to help close the achievement gaps among public school students nationwide.

Karina has hands-on experience helping thousands of low-income students continue their post-secondary education.  She has worked for several college access programs, such as Early Academic Outreach Program, Upward Bound, and Educational Talent Search. During her tenure, she provided academic advising, financial literacy, proctored college entrance exams, and provided additional resources to students in the greater Sacramento area, including the following high schools: Rio Linda, Grant, Foothill, Burbank, and Florn.

Her personal experiences have given her a genuine understanding of the everyday struggles and barriers working families continue to face. She is the daughter of immigrants, and attended public schools with her brother and sisters. With the support of caring educators and student success programs, Karina graduated high school prepared for college and the workforce. Karina received her Bachelor’s of Science in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis.  Since then, she has devoted her life to helping other families achieve the same success California's public-school system gave her. 

Karina's key focuses will be college and career readiness, advancing educational equity, and supporting our educators. As a career counselor and small business owner, she understands the need to provide students with rigorous academic education in addition to practical job skills, in order to build a vibrant workforce and economy.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Phil Serna, Board Member, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, District 1

Organizations (1)

  • California Teachers Association

Elected Officials (5)

  • Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Dr. Richard Pan, State Senator, District 6
  • Angelique Ashby, Council Member, Sacramento City Council, District 1
  • Patrick Kennedy, Vice Chair, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, District 2
  • Eric Guerra, Council Member, Sacramento City Council, District 6

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My political philosophy comes from my experience as a first generation college student who owes my success and options in life to the public education system. I am a progressive that values evidence when making decisions and community inclusion. Being a progressive means that my decisions will be focused on closing opportunity gaps and making sure that we are our economy works for everyone, so that everyone grows together. As a strong-supporter of evidence based solutions, I will also not be afraid to challenge my beliefs and support solutions that have been proven to help to improve student outcomes. I will be open to any solution that can help to improve student outcomes and help to close opportunity gaps. Also as important is my strong support for community inclusion, for even the perfect policy (if it exist) will not last and fail if it is not genuinely supported by the community and actually tailored to meet their needs. As a community advocate, i will make sure that I am listening to parents, teachers, and other community members to learn about their concerns and collaborate to find common-sense solutions.

I am a candidate that is ultimately in it for my passion, which is educational equity. This is not a campaign for just a position  but a campaign to talk about the very important issues facing our students and our communities. I will work hard on policies and on finding solutions that help to improve student outcomes. If I have the privilege serve as a trustee for the Sacramento County Board of Education, my main concern will be to put our students first.

Specifically, my key priorities in putting students first will be to support:

  • College and Career Readiness, including expanding access to real-world learning opportunities, such as internships and project-based learning; supporting counselors to provide quality college-going guidance; and expanding dual language programs and opportunities for all students to graduate bilingual and biliterate from high school.

  • Educational Equity, including reviewing district LCAPs to ensure that resources are targeted to students based on their educational needs; expanding access to opportunities, such as summer learning and afterschool programs that offer students with enrichment activities; and supporting transparency in school spending so that the public knows how much total funding goes to each school; and creating an environment where all teachers, students, and families feel welcomed at the county board meetings, county offices, and all schools.

  • Supporting our Educators, including empowering classroom teachers by prioritizing professional development that builds school capacity and creates communities of practices; placing educators front and center in efforts to support schools as the county considers building its support system to schools identified through the California Schools Dashboard; supporting career pathways for school staff to get a credential, especially in areas of need, such as STEAM, dual language, and special education.

Position Papers

Preparing Our Students for College, Career, and Civic Life

Summary

The goal of our public school system must be to provide all of our students with a well-rounded education that is based on real-world and practical experiences that prepares them for success in college, career, and civic life. As a Sacramento County Board of Education trustee, I will support efforts to expand internship opportunities for our students; expand access to highly skilled counselors; and support the expansion of dual language programs that allow students to become bilingual and biliterate.

The goal of our public school system must be to provide all of our students with a well-rounded education that is based on real-world and practical experiences that prepares them for success in college, career, and civic life. To accomplish this goal, all students should have access to real-world learning opportunities that enhance what they are already learning in the classroom, allows them to explore their passions, and develops their skills. Students must also have access to a curriculum that is well-rounded and includes the arts, history, physical education, and all of the subjects that build on each other. The Sacramento County Board of Education plays a vital role in making these opportunities available to our students. As a board member, I will:

Support efforts to work with local industry, government, and non-profits to expand internship opportunities for our students in middle and high school. These opportunities allow students to experience what it is like to work in the real-world and explore potential career options. Moreover, for low-income students, these opportunities helps to build their social capital, learn from experiences professionals, and set goals for themselves that more closely match their potential. Programs that have been proven to be effective are Career Academies and other Career and Technical Education programs that have strong partnerships with local universities and employers. Moreover, these types of programs have been proven to keep more student engaged and are also more rigorous as they build on the core academic curriculum and make it more relevant to the lives of students.

Support and expand access to highly skilled counselors. As someone who benefited from the advice of my high school counselor to get me to college and who has provided counseling to thousands of students, I understand how critical advice from supportive adults can be to getting students to and through college. The County Office of Education can support these efforts in our districts by providing counselors with professional development opportunities and ensuring that they have the necessary support and access to resources to connect students to our local colleges and universities. Every student should have access to a highly skilled counselor.

Support the expansion of dual language programs that allow students to become bilingual and biliterate. Part of being college and career ready must also include ensuring that our students can navigate through our diverse and interconnected world. Dual language  programs have been proven to be effective at getting our English learners to become proficient in English while also retaining their home language. For our English fluent students, they also allow them to interact with peers from different cultures and become bilingual and biliterate. Dual language programs should be essential to our County Office of Education’s goals of college and career readiness and are essential as we set a goal for having more student earn the State Seal of Biliteracy upon high school graduation.

 

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