Judy Appel and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler already serve on the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Directors. And for this position, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that we need new leadership.
Both candidates have served exceptional tenures, and we want to see them continue their work. In the past few years, the school district created a plan — called the 2020 vision — and has stuck to it, for the most part. The achievement gap between white students and students of color, for example, appears to be shrinking.
The school board has also been working to implement a redesign of Berkeley High School in an attempt to improve technology and space to cultivate a creative and productive working environment. It’s important that board members who helped create that plan stick around to oversee its implementation.
As a bilingual member of the board, Leyva-Cutler brings an important perspective and has spent her career ensuring that bilingual students and students of color don’t get left behind. She’s also the only educator currently on the school board. We can’t afford to lose her voice.
Similarly, Appel’s work on the board has manifested in a reduction of expulsions and suspensions, and she has been an advocate for the implementation of technology-assisted learning in the classroom. Her great work on the board needs to continue.
Both board members also emphasized the need to make sure teacher salaries allow them to live in Berkeley, among their students.
There’s not enough space to effectively lay out all that makes these two candidates excellent for Berkeley. Their commitment to Berkeley’s students, teachers and community is unparalleled, and failing to re-elect them would impede the school board’s continued success.
These two amazing candidates deserve to win.
Endorsements represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.