When it comes to selecting who should serve on the Hillsborough City Elementary School District, there are really no wrong answers. All four of the candidates for three seats on the board are top-notch with great ideas, enthusiasm and community connections.
And there are not sweeping changes needed at the board level. Hillsborough schools are some of the best, with high scores and innovative course offerings. And even coming out of a period in which cuts were necessary, the district itself has come out relatively unscathed and is looking at seeing its revenue rise once again.
But choose one must. Lynne Esselstein, Don Geddis and Kaarin Hardy deserve your vote.
Esselstein is an incumbent and provides a certain amount of institutional knowledge on a board that is seeing two incumbents — Steven Koury and Mary Ellen Benninger — opt out of re-election. Esselstein has a quick command of the district’s issues including its finances as well as the ability to place the district within the state education ecosystem. With Common Core curriculum changes and the future planning initiative on the horizon, Hillsborough schools would be well-served by another term by Esselstein.
Change will soon be a constant in all California schools with the implementation of Common Core and Hillsborough is already setting the stage for that change by implementing some of the teaching practices early. With the future planning initiative on deck as well for Hillsborough schools, Hardy’s experience as a change management consultant puts her in a unique position to assist the board and the district navigate some of these changes. She is also fully immersed in the town’s education community through her work on parent boards and schools foundation and has been key in understanding how the district best meet the challenge of implementing Common Core. She will be a great representative for collaboration.
Geddis has a Ph.D. in computer science and is intrigued by the future possibilities of technology in the classroom. However, while excited by it, he recognizes it as a tool and considers exposure to a well-designed lesson is paramount. In fact, his desire for an emphasis on the importance of developing persistence as a character trait in addition to critical thinking and presentation skills is a refreshing thought. In addition, he would like to emphasize communication so that clear goals are established between teachers, parents and students.
Wu also brings good ideas to the table with her emphasis on wellness and her desire to expand the district’s offerings of world languages.
Each candidate would do a great job on the board but the best candidates in this particular election at this time of great change is Esselstein, Geddis and Hardy.