Roberta Reynolds is President of the Burbank Board of Education and she is running for a third term. Reynolds is a pharmacist and lifetime resident of the city who attended Burbank schools. Recently, Reynolds sent me responses to a series of questions I emailed to all of the school board candidates in the 2015 city elections. The exception is Steve Ferguson who answered similar questions in a video interview last fall.
Reynolds emphasized her experience and willingness to seek input from others as key reasons she should be re-elected. My questions and Reynold’s answers are below.
1. What are the biggest problems facing the Burbank School District? And what solutions do you have for those problems?
Over the last 6 years, we have come through the worst financial crisis in education in many, many years. Through fiduciary prudence, we have maintained many programs in the arts and career technical education that have been eliminated in many other districts. However, we have been forced to increase class size, eliminate many support positions, delay technology upgrades and delay facilities maintenance. As we are experiencing some restoration in our funding, I believe the biggest challenges are the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the judicious use of our increased funding to restore positions, enhance the use of technology and professional development to provide the best classroom experience for our students and to expand career college readiness through career technical education. The passing of Measure S has provided the funds to enhance technology and improve our facilities. Careful management of those funds will be a critical ongoing challenge.
I believe the best solutions to navigate through these challenges is collaboration. My seven and a half years of experience on the Board of Education coupled with almost two decades of active involvement in parent/volunteer organizations has given me a strong insight into the needs of the district. My goal is to continue to look to district wide committees and task forces to guide the decision making process. Teachers, parents and community members at the front lines provide a wealth of experience. Willingness to listen is one of the most important attributes of a leader.
2. What are the skills and experience you have acquired that make you the best candidate for a seat on the Burbank School Board?
For more than two decades I have served this community in a multitude of leadership positions in school related parent and booster organizations. Over the last seven and a half years, I have served on the Board of Education. During this time, I completed California School Boards Association the Masters in Governance Program and I have attended the annual Education Conference for eight years in a row. In addition to attending the California State PTA Convention almost every year since 2002, I have attended Ed Source and the California State PTA Legislative Conference numerous times. I place a very high priority on continuous professional development as a Board Member and as a Community Member. This range of experience and commitment to understanding the issues facing our schools makes me the best candidate for the Burbank Board of Education at this time.
3. Does your educational background and experience give you a unique insight or perspective?