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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
School

Santa Cruz City School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 3

Photo of Abraham "Abe" Wolcott

Abraham "Abe" Wolcott

Parent/Professor/Educator
16,775 votes (38.65%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • INCREASE ACADEMICS! Common core standards were established and adopted by the State of California in 2012. Santa Cruz Schools in nearly 7 years has not done its due diligence to properly educate our students.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: Santa Cruz City Schools has a annual budget of $65M, a UC campus at its doorstep and yet we fail to efficiently translate those DOLLARS INTO RESULTS. SC needs new leadership, budgetary wisdom and vision at the school board.
  • TRANSPARENCY: REPORT RACIAL, RELIGIOUS AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION HARASSMENT! Santa CruZ schools need to be transparent and collect, analyze and publish data relating to bias aganst students because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Chemistry, San Jose State University (2015–current)
Board Member, Santa Cruz Education Foundation — Elected position (2018–current)

Education

UC Santa Cruz BS and PhD, Physical Chemistry (2009)

Community Activities

Science Fair Judge, Santa Cruz County Science Fair (2018–current)
Mentor and curriculum developer, University of Texas at Austin and UTeach Outreach (2009–2011)
Project Mentor, Kirby School Santa Cruz, CA (2007–2008)

Biography

Abe is a Professor of Chemistry at San Jose State University, a Santa Cruz Education Foundation Board Member and a developer of Next Generation Science Standard curriculum. Abe will be a PhD scientist on the Santa Cruz School Board and an active faculty member teaching classes at the University level. The Choice for Change is clear on November 6th!

Abe lives with his wife Lucky and daughters Emily and Keza in Santa Cruz, CA. Abe  was born in Berkeley, California at Alta Bates Hospital in 1977. In 1979, the Wolcotts moved from Oakland to Irvine, CA where Abe received an excellent public education experience. In many ways, Abe envisions that the quality of education in Santa Cruz should meet or exceed the quality of education in Irvine. He believes it is possible with new leadership. Abe graduated from Irvine High School and then went on to receive his BS and PhD in physical chemistry at UC Santa Cruz in 2003 and 2009, respectively. In 2009 he received a prestigious National Science Foundation post doctoral fellowship and worked with surface scientist Xiao Yang Zhu at UT Austin. The NSF funding was one part fundamental research and one part science curriculum for K-8 education (NSF Funding). Abe collaborated with UTeach Outreach (Uteach Outreach) and created science curriculum for sustainable alternative energy production, chemistry and physics. The students made their own NANOCRYSTALLINE DYE SENSITIZED SOLAR CELLS! The lesson plans were created to target under-represented minorities in the sciences and the curriculum was shared in majority Latino communities in the Austin Independent School District. The curriculum is still active today and a youtube video can be found here showing on the lesson plan begins: UTeach Outreach Solar Cells

Abe then moved from Austin to New York in 2011 and worked at Columbia University with renowed chemist Jonathan S. Owen and physicist Dirk R. Englund. There he continued his cutting-edge reserach in physical chemistry and shifted focus to a new project based on nanoscale diamond. The purpose of the project funded by the Keck Foundation was to develop new sensors for brain activity. The Brain Activity Map project (BRAIN Activity Map Project was started during the Obama administration and its goal is to understand the fundamental circuitary of the brain in the hopes of understanding neurological disorders such as Alzheimers and dementia.

In 2013 Abe was invited to MIT and he moved to Boston, MA to keep working on nanodiamonds and the BRAIN activity Map project. While the research was fantastic, the most amazing thing was meeting his wife Lucky there at a Boston Celtics game. During that time he also received an offer to join the faculty at San jose State University in August of 2015 and at that time Abe and his family moved from Boston, MA to Santa Cruz, CA. His daughter, then 5 began school at De Laveaga Elementary School. Abe became involved in the school district through the Santa Cruz Education Foundation and working with ETR and Santa Cruz City Schools to bring Computer Science into the district. That work is funded by the Computer Science for All mechanism from the National Science Foundation.

At San Jose State University, Professor Wolcott teaches physical chemistry, manages a lab of 15 researchers doing cutting-edge science and performs service duties for SJSU such as reviewing award applications in the College of Science. Since 2015, Abe collaborates with the Jay Pinson STEM Center (Jay Pisnon STEM) to create Next Generation Science Standard complaint material and in providing professional development training workshops to Bay Area educators with The Tech Museum and eduaction expert Dr. Virginia Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe. To date curriculum has been shared and optimized across 9 school districts and a leading target of this content are schools in the Eastside Alliance, a majority Latino community in East San Jose. Abe envisions bringing his expertise, vision and applied use of advanced teaching techniques to the School Board and lead Santa Cruz into the future.

 

 

 

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • California Faculty Association

Individuals (3)

  • Shaowei Chen, Professor of Chemistry
  • Glen Milhauser, Professor of Chemistry
  • Jose Estevez, parent of Santa Cruz City School student

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Government must be open, honest and transparent whereby the law and the application of the law is what rules the day. Abe opposes cronism, back room deals and lack of transparency. Whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, there must be open and honest debate on topics of public interest and the best ideas with the highest outcomes should rule the day. Too much power in the hands of any political party is a bad thing for democracy, equal representaion and functional government.

Honesty is key and whether it is the local, county, state or federal level, you must believe in the instiutions within your community. You must trust that when you call 911, the firefighters or police will arrive. If you are at a hospital you expect that care will be provided when you arrive. And when you send your kids to school, you expect that they will receive an excellent education and you entrust your child to be respected and safe while in the school districts care.

Transparency maybe the binding force that makes democracy work within the United States and the reason it fails when transparency and openness are not embraced. If something is wrong it needs to be discussed openly and not behind closed doors. Solutions must be made by a coalition of people and not by a single body that wields enormous power without considering all sides of a debate or public policy. The smallest voices should not be ignored just because their ideas are not in the minority or not part of the power structure of a community. Simply, the best democracy and the outcomes of a democracy is when equal representation is given. The tyranny of the majority should be resisted and good government can fluorish when transparency and not cronism is embraced.

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