When he’s not on the job at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Correctional Officer Patrick Lucy is looking out for youth in the community.
Lucy, 50, has one new task, as a school board member for the South San Francisco Unified School District. He hopes to be able to help those who need it the most — at-risk youth. “Kids are my life,” said Lucy, who helps run the Alternative to Expulsion Intervention Program. “I’ve been involved in everything I can get my hands on.”
It’s not surprising then that when the Daily Journal arrived to meet in a cafe to ask about his new role, he was wrapping up a phone call with a boy he saw grow up. The boy, now struggling and getting into trouble, has been promised that if he does graduate high school, Lucy will be on the stage to present him with his diploma. When Lucy heard about the vacancy, left by Liza Normandy who recently joined the South San Francisco City Council, he knew he wanted to apply.
“I’ve basically always been active in the school district and I wanted to keep the positive things going,” he said. “I want to be more involved in the policy making. … The school district is a hidden gem that a lot of people don’t know about.”
Lucy has two daughters, age 16 and 24, who grew up in the city. His alternative to expulsion program gives students a chance to reflect, evaluate their decision-making skills, learn about opportunities and return to school through a five-day program.
“I want to continually work with at-risk kids and give them a chance for success,” Lucy said. “I’m tired of seeing kids come to my jail.”
He said he would also like to work with parent teacher associations to help get more parents active in their children’s lives.
“I want to get more parents involved,” he said. “There’s a better chance of kids succeeding that way. I want to make sure all kids are represented — GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) kids, special education kids, those in music programs and others.”
He would also like to get community support for the district from a company like Genentech.
Lucy said one of his top priorities is getting on board with the new Common Core Standards. With the state’s new curriculum, there is a shift to more project-based and team collaborative learning. There’s also more of an emphasis on students using technology in classrooms. He is also joining the board at a time with a new state funding model — Local Control Funding Formula — that comes with a Local Control and Accountability Plan.
“It’s the way my generation was taught,” he said. “Not teaching for the test. For a lot of businesses now, you have to be more analytical than in the past.”
Lucy began on the board Jan. 16 and will be up for election this fall. He intends to run and still has a lot to learn in a short period of time, he said.
“I’m looking forward to understanding all the nuances of the board,” he said. “I’m coming in at the right time; the whole board is learning about the LCFF and LCAP.”
Lucy grew up in South San Francisco and went to Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. He married his high school sweetheart and still attends his boyhood church St. Veronica Catholic Church. He said he always describes South San Francisco as big town with a small-town attitude.
“I want to keep that feeling and expand upon it,” he said.
He has high hopes for the city and district.
“I think it will become like Burlingame in the next few years,” Lucy said. “I want to be part of that.”
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