By Jose J. Granda, PhD
The time has come to have a dialog with your readers about my candidacy and also about Measure H. We will address the latter on a follow up article. I am running for the Davis School Board and I would be honored to gain your vote based on my qualifications. I invite your readers to consider my qualifications and stands in the best interest of education and being responsible to the taxpayers. I have lived in Davis since 1978. For 34 of those years, I have been a teacher motivating students to STEM careers from elementary school to the university level. Whether is teaching children the principles of why airplanes fly, to building Hubble Telescopes or University students to analyze the complex Flight Dynamics of the Space Shuttle, I have been there. I am a Mechanical Engineering Professor teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, changing lives of children and young adults for the past 34 years.
Teaching and technology into educational policy for Davis Schools requires experience. I will use my skills and qualifications to take the lead to make Davis schools the most technologically advanced so that technology will serve well teachers and the most important people, the students.
I was at one time an English learner, someone who did not understand what the teacher was saying when I first came to the United States as a foreign exchange student. Therefore I value languages because they change lives. I went to Meadowdale high school in Dayton, Ohio in my formative years and was taught the values of Middle America. Those of fairness, compassion and service to others. I conduct my professional and personal live with them. For this reason when it comes to a positon on the School Board, I believe if I get elected, it will be because of my ideas, my potential to impact the lives of students as I have done in my 34 years of teaching. It will not be because of the amount of money spent on a campaign nor for endorsements that commit people once they get elected. The school board needs someone who understands STEM, who is a leader in the field and that is my best asset.
I have lived in Germany, France, Switzerland and in South America. I have experience on how other countries who have much more advanced educational systems do it. I have been close to those systems as two my children went to German schools and one of them to a Swiss school during my sabbaticals.
Other unique experiences. I was part of the engineering team of the Space Shuttle Discovery on the Return to Flight mission in 2005 and later worked with NASA education department and with public affairs. I am lucky to have a supportive wife who is also a systems engineer who also worked with NASA education department. For that reason, if a teacher invites us, we go and make presentations in schools to motivate young minds to STEM careers and to help them appreciate that science and math can be a lot of fun.
I am prepared to bring diversity and fiscal responsibility to the School Board. I have the best interest of both the students and the taxpayers.
I am an independent thinker, a different voice with no political commitments and not afraid to be politically incorrect. I bring a unique experience with languages as I speak fluently four languages, English, French, German and Spanish. Because of my cultural upbringing, I understand Hispanic families and the needs of those children that make up 20% of our district.
I want to be an advocate for the unrepresented and the disabled. At the same time I believe strongly in a program like AIM. I believe that program should be more open so parents in consultation with the teachers can make the best educational choices for their sons and daughters. I believe the current admission policy needs to be changed to provide more opportunities to students. I believe it is the place for the formation of future leaders whether it is in science, engineering, or social sciences. Because of my work with NASA, I have been fortunate to know several astronauts and had the opportunity to ask them when they discovered their interest. Every single one told me they started around 9 or 10 years old. That is elementary school. That is why I believe in the AIM program and I also believe in the Spanish Immersion Program. Two of my children went to those programs.
If my 3 T’s, “TECHNOLOGY, TAXPAYERS, TEACHING” finds compatibility with your thinking, please consider my candidacy when you vote.
If you want to help me get elected and find out more about me please go to www.electjose.org