Three passionate people dedicated to West Sacramento schools and their communities are running for two open spots on the Washington Unified School District’s Board of Education.
All of them are serious candidates who would serve the board well, but voters can pick only two on Nov. 4.
The first pick should be Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez. This elementary school teacher in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District was elected in 2013 to fill the remainder of an unexpired term. She deserves the opportunity to serve a full term, and the board will be better for it.
The former Sacramento County teacher of the year brings an invaluable perspective to the board as both an outstanding educator and a mother of two young daughters who will attend their neighborhood schools in the future. She understands how to support the needs of teachers and students. That’s rare.
For the second spot, we recommend Joshua Alves, a medical device salesman and the father of a pre-schooler and a toddler. He has served on the homeowners association for his Rivers community and is a regular community volunteer.
Besides bringing some needed gender diversity to the board – if he wins he will be the only man on the board – Alves brings important business experience. That will come in handy as the district makes decisions about how to spend its share of local control funds from the state and the revenue from Measure V, if the building bond passes on Nov. 4.
Alves has another experience that makes him not just a decent candidate, but a great one. Namely, how to build a school. Alves led a project to create a public charter school for his community, securing the land and getting the charter to the district for approval. Because charter schools have been caught up in the larger statewide fight between school reformers and teachers unions for the state superintendent of public instruction race, he is gun-shy about talking about this remarkable achievement. That’s too bad. It shows an energy and determination that we need among elected officials.
The third candidate is Norma Alcala. She has deep ties to West Sacramento as a parent and grandparent of WUSD students and a longtime a community volunteer, but doesn’t offer more than either of the other two candidates.
Kirby-Gonzalez and Alves are two energetic, bright minds who will bring balance and expertise to the school board.