Friday, September 4, 2015

School elections are Nov. 3, and two candidate forums are on tap

The first one is being organized by the New Monterey Neighborhoood Association and will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, at the Hilltop Center, 871 Jessie Street at Withers.

Newcomer to politics Derrick Jory, a recent graduate of Monterey High School, is challenging Jon Hill for his position as the Monterey Peninsula School District board trustee from District 3 (Monterey). Hill stands for his first election after winning the seat four years ago. Hill, a PhD, has been involved in education for years. His seat is the only one of three being contested in the District.

The forum will also have the candidates for the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, Molly Evans and Jeffrey W. Gorman.

The second forum is being organized by the Salinas Taxpayers Association, where the seven candidates vying for two open seats will face off. It will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1071 Pajaro St., Salinas.

See you there!

The Monterey Bay Digital Rodeo rounds up digitally curious teachers

Saddle up, Monterey Bay area teachers, and head on over to Tiburcio Vasquez Elementary in Salinas this Saturday to learn a ton about how to use technology to enhance your teaching.

Brought to you by Ben Cogswell, an academic coach at the Alisal, the Monterey Bay Digital Rodeo has pretty clever offerings that you can find here.

Topics include: Web Tools 3.0, Technology Basics, Technology Frameworks & Standards, Enhancing Lessons with Technology, Google Apps for Education, Blending Tech in Common Core, Rethinking Learning Spaces and Digital Citizenship.

The event is free and open to all educators. Bring a laptop or your favorite connected gadget and a team and make technology work for you and your school. For more information click here or email Coach Ben at

The digital rodeo will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Tiburcio Vasquez Elementary, 1300 Tuscany Wy, Salinas. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Too bad John Ramirez's leaving the Alisal

John Ramirez Jr. has been around five years on the job as superintendent. If you eliminate the two years that the district was under state receivership, he’s really been in charge for about three. Judging by the reports I hear – and the standing ovation he got when he announced he was leaving – Ramirez had finally gotten the hang of the district and with the help of his team good things were happening. Plus, having been raised in the Alisal, he genuinely loves the students and cares about their success.

In my years as an education reporter I’ve come to learn many important things, but chief among them is how children are hurt by lack of consistency. Turnover matters, whether it is in the classroom, in the principal’s office, or at the district’s headquarters.

The board that’s now in charge of the Alisal seems to be working well and accomplishing great things. But old grudges are hard to let go and the bad blood that developed when the old board was in charge appears to linger. Which is too bad for the kids, who will have to endure yet another leadership style, another set of rules, another set of ideas. In the end, it’s always the kids who pay the price for the adults’ actions.