by Jessica Chabot
Do we need a Science professor on the Davis School Board? Yes we do!
In Bob Poppenga, we Davis residents have an important opportunity to have a Board member who is not only a University scientist, and a teaching faculty member, but also a Davis parent actively committed for years to the education of Davis students.
My contact with Bob Poppenga was as a working member of the DJUSD Career and Technical Education/ Science, Technology, Art, Agriculture, and Mathematics advisory committee (CTE STEA2M). I will focus on this experience related to science, though Bob has strengths in many other important areas.
Voters should support Bob Poppenga both because of his vision and because of his proven ability to act on that vision.
His focus is on the big picture of the careers and life futures that Davis kids could achieve beyond what currently exists now. His vision is long term, inclusive and innovative, and not limited by science, or limited to particular demographics of students.
His vision is long term and inclusive.
Two examples: Rightly concerned about the achievement gap he has supported strategic and long term strategies for its remedy. Expecting to see results in 10 years or more, he supported the Yolo County initiative for universal preschool, and hopes to see it revived soon.
Having read and evaluated the data, he supports the important goal of having all 3rd grade kids reading at grade level. He points out that reading well by third grade is a determinant of academic success at every other stage in the students’ academics to come. He supports targeting resources to meet this goal, and then evaluating the success of the methodology used in rigorous follow up studies. His familiarity with creating and evaluating research and data will support real world guidance in the choices of a forward moving DJUSD.
His vision is innovative.
Bob is also on the Executive Board of Explorit, our beloved teaching science institution. He proposes partnering with Explorit to bring their excellent, engaging science programs to DJUSD where possible. Among other virtues, no kid would be excluded from the programs, as they would become accessible at the all the elementary campuses.
Science and technical education: He supports developing several advancing and connected pathways for our kids as they progress through DJUSD. These subject paths would begin in elementary school, and continue through high school, ideally landing the junior or senior student in an internship in the field of study. The animal science path which has been proposed, leading to paid internship, is a model of what could be universal in our Davis schools.
With this plan, students would achieve a deep knowledge and a grasp of the complex real world work involved in the area of study, rather than a piecemeal, glancing understanding. This plan implies effort by DJUSD to develop organic, sustainable and ongoing relationships with several UCD departments, professors and students.
He takes action on advancing the educational goals of students: he has been working on creating one of the few paid science internships for our DJUSD students. Imagine the excitement of these first interns in Vet Medicine at UCD!
He has real world teaching and leadership experience. His teaching experience, as well as long standing administrative experience at the school of Veterinary Medicine is valuable. There he has developed outcome evaluations for faculty, supporting faculty and staff. He has the background to work well on the DJUSD Board and to introduce and to maintain high standards.
His commitment to education in the City of Davis is longstanding, and many layered.
As well as serving on the executive board of the Explorit Science Center, and the DJUSD CTE/STEA2M advisory committee, he has served on the Youth Services and International Committees of the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club, the District’s Parcel Tax oversight committee, as well.
I am a Co-Director of Davis Code Camp, which seeks to provide services and advocates for early computer programming education for all elementary school kids, including those in multilingual and multicultural settings.
We support Bob and other candidates who advocate advancing the early and connected science curriculum of all types, including computer programming, in our schools.
A vote for Bob Poppenga is a vote for a bright academic future for our students.
Jessica Chabot runs Davis Code Camp