Letters in Support of Bob Poppenga For School Board

Poppenga-updated-hs7 reasons to vote for Poppenga

These are seven reasons why I am voting for Bob Poppenga for the Davis school board:

  1. Bob would be the only scientist on the school board. A 21st-century school board needs expertise in diverse disciplines to prepare our children for their futures.
  2. Bob has two daughters enrolled in the district, so he has a vested interest in how our district is currently serving our students.
  3. Bob is a professor at UC Davis and has great personal and professional connections there that could benefit our schools. In fact, his connection with UC Davis already connected the vet school with high school students from DHS earlier in October.
  4. Bob has served on the district’s STEM committee and wants to see more of their visionary ideas come to fruition. As a professor of veterinary medicine at UC Davis, Bob understands how important inquiry based education in math and science are.
  5. Bob believes that our district needs to offer more career and technical opportunities. Every single high school graduate should be college- or career-ready. We have a ton of Advanced Placement classes at the high school level, but not enough career technical education.
  6. Bob has endorsements by current UC Davis and City Council members that could foster an amazing and interconnected Davis community. (For example, Bob would love to see affordable housing options for Davis teachers.)
  7. Bob’s visionary ideas and collaborative professionalism would be a great complement to our newly hired superintendent, John Bowes. These two with fresh eyes would give our district a perfect chance to move forward in providing the best educational environment for every family.

I have been teaching in Davis since 1994 and I have never publicly endorsed a school board candidate, until now. Please join me in voting for Bob Poppenga for Davis school board on Nov. 8.

Tracy Skinner

Our schools will be better with Poppenga

The incumbents in the school board race are satisfied to be “one of the good districts of the Sacramento region” but the aspirations of Davisites has always been to be a model city and school district for the entire country. Yet, the truth is, our overall students’ performance level is well below U.S. school districts with comparable income — and compares even less favorably to school districts with comparable parent education levels.

Davisites have a strong belief in serving all students within our community, but are shocked to hear that our district is satisfied with the same performance gaps that any other district faces. This is not acceptable. We need change on our school board if we want to see our children thrive in the increasingly competitive world in which we live.

Bob Poppenga is the only candidate in this school board election who has equally great aspirations for our district. And as a scientist, he arrives at those ideas through a data-driven approach. Bob has a vision for fixing the achievement gap: that students must be proficient readers by third grade. Bob is determined to create bridges between the school district and the university, which will benefit all students in the district.

Bob recognizes that nurturing our diverse educational opportunities (Spanish Immersion, dual Spanish, Montessori, AIM, Da Vinci) is what makes Davis a desirable place for young families to live. His aspirations truly match those of the parents of Davis schoolchildren.

We are fortunate to have a candidate who is a parent, scientist, educator and who truly listens to the parents of Davis. I urge you to vote for Bob Poppenga for school board.

Connie Saint

A philosophy of the whole child

We are voting for Bob Poppenga for Davis school board because we believe he understands how important it is to bridge the opportunities and resources within our world-class university to further improve the learning conditions available to all children in our public schools.

UC Davis is an integral part of our community and we should work closely with this partner to help make the Davis experience even more remarkable. There is so much potential to be explored and developed along these lines.

Jodi and I have had front-row seats, in her capacity as founding chair of the Davis Parent University lecture series, to some of Bob’s community involvement such as promoting internships for teens to learn more about career and job possibilities after high school, his volunteer work as an advisory board member for Explorit Science Center, and his efforts for youth programs with the Sunrise Rotarians.

Bob also would like to see a strong career technical program in our schools to help those students who are not college-bound to tap into the rising job potentials of the skilled trades.

We appreciate Bob’s philosophy of the whole child, that every child deserves to aspire to the best education and skills that a community can offer and that engaging kids at a young age in the sciences is vital to their future prospects. We like that Bob works smart, hard and thoughtfully as a professional and volunteer, and we know he’ll do the same as a school board trustee.

Please join us in voting for Bob Poppenga for school board.

Eric and Jodi Liederman

Poppenga welcomes diverse views

I got to know Bob Poppenga through his commitment to needed improvements in our public schools and where I saw his efforts on several working groups. He always does his homework, and he is very helpful to others in bringing research and practice together, so he inspires confidence and meaningful discussion. His leadership is one mark of his university teaching experience. We need his expertise to benefit all of the district’s students.

Bob is a peacemaker, always accessible and helpful to a wide range of stakeholders. His good-natured acceptance of sometimes very diverse positions is healing. His life in education has led him to appreciate difference and integrity and to model both for others.

In his work for our schools, Bob has shown his ability to build bridges of understanding between those with differing views and to use his skills to build consensus. We can rely on him to share with the board his clearly exceptional experience with reliable, vetted research.

I also believe that alternative views and perspectives are an important part of our board’s leadership. It’s important for all students, but especially for underserved, highly diverse, educational, and socioeconomic minorities, to be represented on the Board by Education by members who still have a stake in their own children’s and, for me and plenty of others, their grandchildren’s education.

It’s time for new voices in the board’s leadership with current and future, not past, involvement in the high schools, the junior highs and our very crucial elementary program. Growth doesn’t just mean expansion. It also means guidance for the best outcome, not just at board meetings, but every day. We couldn’t have a more trustworthy person for the job than Bob Poppenga.

Evelyn Falkenstein

Vote Poppenga for strong schools

A public school system has to care deeply for all of its children. In a town like Davis, we have children with learning needs, children who are learning English and children who are academically accelerated. We are a town of geeks, of athletic overachievers, of immigrants and kids struggling to keep up, and people who are all of the above.

As a town, we are committed to academic excellence for all in an environment that nurtures and respects each student. No child should languish.

This is a noble goal that is hard to accomplish. It takes a town that will provide extra resources to supplement the meager assistance provided by a state that (surprisingly) lags the nation in funding public education. Thus my support for Measure H, which continues the same level of funding as previous expiring taxes.

It also takes thoughtful leadership, which shepherds resources and delivers them to maximum effect to support students. It takes a district that doesn’t waste resources courting foreseeable legal claims.

Bob Poppenga, a veterinarian and scientist at the world’s best veterinary medical school, understands that teachers, counselors, nurses and administrators are the key to supporting our students. As someone who adopted a child who didn’t speak English when she arrived in this land at the age of 10, he understands the special needs of our diverse kids, each of whom is amazing in his or her own way.

He has a positive agenda to bring more opportunities to our children by connecting them to the world-class faculty and students at UC Davis. He already has helped establish options for Davis kids to work with the veterinary medical faculty and students. Furthermore, he realizes that we can’t sit back on our laurels. A research scientist whose animal and food safety lab is largely funded by the state because of the important work it does both for consumers and farmers, he knows that we can seek outside grants to support our students.

Bob listens, gathers the facts and analyzes. He will not simply react to the latest crisis, but lead to build stronger programs for all our children. Please join me in voting for Bob.

Anupam Chander

New blood needed on school board

I enthusiastically support Bob Poppenga for Davis school board. Bob is someone who has fresh ideas and we need some new members on the board who can foster a more collaborative relationship with the community and the district.

Two of his recommendations especially resonate as I consider the past eight years of this school board. Bob would like to see: 1) a code of ethics and conflict of interest policies be adopted by the school board and made available to the community, and reviewed and agreed to annually by school board trustees and 2) policies and procedures regarding the handling of complaints against teachers that are fair and transparent.

There is enough drama on the national stage, we don’t need personal agendas running our schools here in Davis. Let’s have all the school board members be transparent and straightforward and put the kids’ needs first. Let’s also have those elected be responsive to the wishes of their constituents and work together to see that every child reaches his or her potential and every teacher and coach feels valued and respected.

Bob is an experienced educator, dedicated parent and consensus-builder; as school board member he will be a trustworthy public servant and a breath of fresh air.

Bonnie Gieschen, M.D.

School board needs Poppenga

Investment in our kids is the best investment in our future. This obviously applies to all areas of education but particularly to the science program. The world has moved forward and our kids are often ready for much more than what we learned at their age. This is why I am so excited about Bob Poppenga’s candidacy for the Davis school board.

Bob holds a Ph.D. in science, and has been a professor for 30 years. He works on animal and food safety — areas that are critical to all of us. And he is trying to open up the amazing resources of the UC Davis veterinary school to the kids in our public schools.

Bob realizes that students need a variety of options, including English language support, foreign languages, remedial education and advanced placement courses. And he realizes the importance of STEM education so that our kids can solve the problems of the future.

Tadeusz Wroblewski

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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      1. commonsence

        to clarify – each of those people individually submitted their letters and you ran them as one story? I just want to know how this works.  thank you!

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