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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
School

Dixon Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Jewel Fink

Jewel Fink

Educator (retired)
3,105 votes (39.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • quality academic and vocational education for all students
  • equity of education for all students, especially low income, marginalized and under-served populations
  • increased parent participation in their child's education

Experience

Biography

Education and Qualifications: BA, French and Art (double major); General Secondary Credential – UC Berkeley. MA, Education;  Administrative Services Credential – Mills College.

 

My education, background and 40+ years as a teacher and administrator with the Vallejo City Unified School District have given me the tools to advocate on behalf of educators, students and families.  As a successful program developer and grants manager, I understand the realities of being accountable to governmental agencies and other funding sources and working within budget constraints. I will ensure that your tax dollars are spent wisely.

All of us, community members, parents and school personnel, must work as a team to put students first, since they are our number priority. If elected to the Dixon USD School Board, I will focus on: team building; staff development opportunities; technology awareness and resources; and accountability and transparency at all levels. I will work to: retain and recruit classified and certificated staff who view themselves as educational leaders; support initiatives that will prepare our young people for success in a rapidly changing world; and build a healthy, nurturing school and district environment where individual differences are appreciated and communication is open and productive. In November, please vote for Jewel Fink. jewelf5617@gmail.com

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (2)

  • Northern Solano Democratic Club
  • Solano County Democratic Central Committee

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My mission is to work hard every day to make Dixon Unified School District a model for other districts to emulate by providing:

1)    quality academic and vocational education for all students, especially marginalized and underserved populations;

2)    comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education to all pupils, inclusive, in grades 7 – 12;

3)    education that includes fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful reference to contributions by people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community; and

4)     education as a way out of poverty.

My mission is to work hard every day to make Dixon Unified School District a model for other districts to emulate by providing:

1)    quality academic and vocational education for all students, especially marginalized and underserved populations;

2)    comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education to all pupils, inclusive, in grades 7 – 12;

3)    education that includes fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful reference to contributions by people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community; and

4)     education as a way out of poverty.

My mission is to work hard every day to make Dixon Unified School District a model for other districts to emulate by providing:

1)    quality academic and vocational education for all students, especially marginalized and underserved populations;

2)    comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education to all pupils, inclusive, in grades 7 – 12;

3)    education that includes fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful reference to contributions by people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community; and

4)     education as a way out of poverty.

As a member of Northern Solano Democratic Club, it is important to me to be endorsed by the Solano County Democratic Central Committee. Even though the School Board is a non-partisan office, I want the Dixon community to know that I am a Democrat and that I stand for what the Democratic Party stands for.  I have been a Democrat since I registered to vote when I turned 21, neatly 60 years ago. The first time I voted, I was honored to vote for John F. Kennedy for President. Being a registered Democrat provides me with my moral compass – to act humanely and with integrity. The Democratic Party stands for education, especially, reproductive health education; public schools education; and education as a pathway out of poverty. My 13 year tenure with Planned Parenthood as Regional Director for Comunity Services & Education is proof that I am proud to stand for Planned Parenthood and the values of the Democratic Party.

 

Position Papers

Jewel Fink - Candidate for Dixon USD Governing Board

Summary

 Newspaper Article by Bil Paul: in the Dixon Tribune Sept. 26,, 2018

bil paul column 31 New person in town running for school board  

You’ll have the chance to vote for three Dixon school board members in the upcoming election on November 6. Two current board members are running for re-election. When I learned that a new neighbor of mine (I live near Gretchen Higgins school) was in the running for the Dixon school board I was interested in learning more about her and why she was jumping into local civic involvement so fast. So I sat down for an interview with Jewel Fink on Monday and asked the questions I figured a lot of you would ask. By the way, she’s not only my new neighbor, she’s new to Dixon. Jewel was born, raised and attended schools in the Pinole and Richmond area. Then she went south to attend UC Berkeley, graduating in 1960 with majors in French and art. Yes, that puts her age at 79. She then obtained her teaching credential in 1961. Her husband Peter died in 1988, and she has been with her partner Barry Brookens since 1992. He worked in the drug and alcoholic rehab area, and is now in the insurance business. Jewel’s connection with Dixon is via her two sons, Peter and Erik, who run the Lemuria Nursery just outside town (where I buy my fruit trees). Thanks to Peter and Erik’s families, she has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. When Jewel retired she moved here to be closer to them. Jewel says she’s running for the board so soon after arriving here because, she says, “I have a passion for education” and she saw that no one had actually been formally elected to the board in over six years. All of the current board members were appointed. That, to her, indicated a lack of involvement in education here. This time around, she and two other “newbies” are running in addition to the two incumbents, so that situation is changing. To bring her up to speed on local school personalities and issues, Jewel has been attending board meetings since June. She noted that at the last meeting, only her and one parent were attending! She’s learned that Dixon schools currently have a declining enrollment, and 80 percent of the teachers are white while the majority of students are Hispanic. However, she feels that the school district has great intentions and is doing the best it can -- but teachers could use more training. She also feels that school board members should have better educational backgrounds -- and more “spark and energy.” She feels she has the necessary background. Her work history includes a teaching stints in Vallejo middle and high schools from 1961 to 1987, and then 15 years as a teacher and counselor for problem kids there. She feels her success with them (many thank her for helping turn their lives around) was the most satisfying of her career. In 1987 she returned to college to obtain her administrative services credential and masters degree in education. Returning to the Vallejo school system, she was responsible for truancy, drugs and alcohol assistance and wrote grant applications for 17 years. Her last position, beginning in 2004, was with Planned Parenthood in Solano County, where she was the director of Community Services and Education and again, wrote grants. She often worked with HIV-positive adults. She retired last year. 

That’s quite a resume, and an indication of her health and vitality. In the past she was active with the Sierra Club, she exercises daily and belongs to the North Bay Hospital health club. She loves to mention that her grandmother lived to be 106! Jewel Fink’s campaign literature calls for school district change. She wants to increase parent and community involvement in the schools, and give students good reasons to go to school. She wants parents to be as excited about their children’s academic achievements as their sports achievements. She thinks that often, “teachers teach the way they were taught” when they were students, and they need more training. She says Dixon schools should be more in compliance with California’s special education rules. She points to the Maine Prairie continuation school as a failure -- since, she says, 75 percent of the students are truants on a daily basis, and all students only attend for half days. When they graduate, she says, their diplomas are not accepted for college admission. When asked about the current school district administration, Jewel says Superintendent Brian Dolan is “a really fine and knowledgeable educator [who’s] on track.” She’s very impressed with the district’s HR staff, and top administrators. Outside her work history, Jewel has been on the board of the Boys and Girls Club in Vallejo, she’s served on the Solano County alcohol and drug advisory board, and has actively campaigned for other school board candidates over the years. As for Jewel, this is her first run for public office. Locally, she’s joined the Kiwanis Club, the Women’s Improvement Club, and the Chamber of Commerce. When asked about low test scores for DUSD students, compared to, for example, students in Davis, she said a lot of the difference is due to parental enthusiasm for, and involvement in, their kids’ mental growth and academic education. Do parents read a lot of books to their children from the earliest age? Are books and educational devices available? Do the parents take kids on trips that will help expand their minds? Have kids had traumatic experiences that hinder their development? “School tests don’t test for passion,” Jewel says, feeling that test scores aren’t the whole picture. She bemoans educational fads that change from year to year. “We need to train and educate kids for the future,” she says, and “make kids more tech-savvy.” Not surprisingly, she isn’t in favor of a voucher system, where kids could choose between public or private schools, and have the state pay tuition. Asked about charter schools, she said she’s passionate about alternative educational systems, and feels Dixon’s Montessori school involves parents more and works well for a portion of the school population. Charter schools, she feels, can specialize and prepare students for specific occupations or life tracks, and some have more rigorous academics than regular schools. As for me, I’m impressed with the energy, honesty and professionalism Jewel is displaying in her run for the school board, and her background. I wish the Chamber or some other organization would organize a candidates’ night for the school board candidates, but nothing has been done so far. 

Jewel’s election web site is www.jewelfink4dusdboard2018.com. For next week’s column I hope to interview Jim Ernest, who is challenging Ted Hickman for the District Two city council seat. 

bil paul is the author of “The Train Never Stops in Dixon” book about Dixon’s failed movie studio project (available on amazon.com) and is working on a non-fiction book containing GIs’ stories from the Aleutian Islands during World War II. He can be reached at naturalbornwriter@hotmail.com.

 

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