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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
School

Fremont Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Norman Howell

Norman Howell

Educator
9,083 votes (9.63%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Facilities. We need to build new facilities and renovate existing facilities. Most schools were built in the 1950's and 60's and need modernizing. There are more than 1 billion in identified needs and no money.
  • There is a shortage of Science, Math, and Special Education teachers. We need to raise salaries to be competitive with Silicon Valley and the shortage of supply. The teacher preparation pipeline is way short of the impending need.
  • Safe schools for effective learning. Large schools are more impersonal leading to harassment, teasing, bullying, and physical fights. I will work for smaller student communities in our schools.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Science Educator
Science Educator, Fremont Unified School District (1974–2008)

Education

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon Masters of Science in Biological Sciences, Graduate majors in Zoology, Botany, Limnology, and minor in Radiation Biology (1973)

Community Activities

Chair and member of Gomes School Site Council, John Gomes Elementary School, Fremont, CA (2011–2013)

Biography

My name is Norman Howell. I’m a candidate for the Fremont Unified School Board. I have spent 34 years as an integral part of the Fremont educational system: teaching advanced placement biology, leading academic clubs to multiple national awards, and accepting several leadership positions in the California Teachers Association. I have experience leading complex organizations and serving within the community. I currently volunteer as a school crossing guard at FUSD schools and have served on past and present School Site Councils. My recent honors include the Community Hero Award from Assemblyman Kansen Chu, the 2018 Golden Oak Award and the Honorary Service Award from Gomes’ PTA.

My analytical background, broad perspective, and creative thinking will lead to forward-looking, measurable goals to improve the quality of education in Fremont. It is time to recognize and tackle the persistent problems of teacher shortages, increasing enrollment, and inadequate facilities.

Teacher Shortages.Considering the cost of living locally, many teachers are choosing to leave the district for jobs in other cities. FUSD cannot afford to lose qualified educators. Increasing compensation is essential for competing with nearby districts and industries for talented teachers and staff. 

School Culture.As school populations become larger they begin to lose their sense of community and students are more likely to become victims of harassment, bullying, or physical harm. We can work to make students safer through anti-bullying campaigns, inclusive communities on campus, and prevention programs. 

Inadequate facilities.Despite the 2014 bond approval for building and updating structures, progress has been slow. Fremont is the second largest district in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Projections show us to be the largest district in the East Bay by 2020.  Most of our schools were built in the 1950’s and 60’s.  They need modernizing, maintenance, and new schools to meet the increasing demand.  There are more than ONE BILLION of identified needs and no money to even start to solve the problem. 

I look forward to solving the challenges facing our district and using creative solutions to increase taxpayer value for money spent. I pledge to be an open board member and to make myself available to local groups to gather input. I do not accept money from special interest groups.  With your support we can move education forward in Fremont. I ask for one of your two votes for School Board November 6.

FPPC# 1409034                                    www.Howell4SchoolBoard.com

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As a lifelong Democrat, I look forward to the changes in our society and work to make those changes in our government that complement that progress.  We need to keep up with those changes by adapting to current technologies and understanding of who we are as a people and our role in the environment. Education is the foundation on which everything we experience in our daily lives is built. Education is an investment in our future not a cost.  It is the underpinnings of our businesses, social structures, and national defense. As a people we do not invest enough in education to maintain a strong, vibrant economy, adequate social services, and national defense.  From the very beginning of our country we are a melting pot of peoples from all over the world.  That is truer today than at any time in our history being more inclusive than ever. The inscription on the Statue of Liberty says in part:

 

 “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.  I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

 

We are a nation that tears down walls, not build them.  We provide opportunity for all who seek a better life for not just themselves but their children.  We seem to have forgotten the poor beginnings our ancestors brought with them and turned hard work and love of freedom into the greatest nation on earth so far.  We stand on the backs of those who came before us to give us a life others seek for themselves.  We welcome with open arms those who still seek a better life for their children.  We need to look forward to the future with dreams, hope, and that “can do” attitude to be ever greater.  The best is yet to come.  Let’s reach to the future that holds promise for all and each do their best to be all they can be.  We need to dream and dream big for if you can dream it, you can make it reality.

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