Letters in Support of Bob Poppenga

Poppenga-updated-hsPoppenga for Davis schools

I’m going to vote for Bob Poppenga for the Davis school board. Here’s why:

I met Bob at a community event and was impressed by his warmth and the time he had for everyone. He ran a great campaign in 2014, but this year it’s been even more impressive: He has broad and inclusive support of the community, campaign websites in three languages, a booth where he meets people at the Farmers Mmarket and numerous community events and an energetic campaign force.

As an educator (a vet school professor) for more than 30 years, he wants every child in the district to have the same support and opportunities that he desires for his two high schoolers. He’s been a bridge between the vet school and paid high school internships, he’s served on the board of the Explorit Science Center and he’s a member of the school district’s STEM Advisory Committee.

As someone who has a STEM job, I know how important a science and technology focus is as the world is increasingly dominated by it (eight of the top 10 companies in the world are tech). There are children who will thrive given choices, not just in STEM. Our schools today lack this. Bob wants to increase student choice and opportunity.

Bob will bring his vision, expertise and dedication to our public schools. Please meet him at the market or at other events around town and vote for him for school board.

Anantha Devarajan



Poppenga respects parental choice

We are blessed to have a daughter with a remarkable singing talent. In order to fully develop her abilities and avail her of key opportunities that can happen on short notice, she requires a flexible schooling schedule and occasional travel. As busy parents, we wouldn’t be able to accommodate this routine if it weren’t for DJUSD’s Independent Study program.

We have been very pleased with the understanding and service we have received in working with the staff administering this program. It serves as a shining example of what distinguishes Davis public schools and is a big part of why we choose to make our home in this community.

What we see in Bob Poppenga is a candidate who recognizes and respects the diversity of options available to meet the corresponding needs and interests of our diverse student body. Bob embraces the whole child approach to education and is attentive to parental concerns and the desire for each child to aspire to his or her highest potentials. We see in Bob a candidate who will work with others to make Davis schools even better.

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

Sandra and Brian Rogers


Poppenga is uniquely qualified

I am writing to endorse Bob Poppenga for Davis school board. I teach state and local government law and public finance at the UC Davis School of Law. I also currently serve on the Davis school district’s Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, as Bob has done.

I support continuing the parcel tax, which comprises approximately 12 percent of the district’s budget and funds absolutely vital programs in our schools. Along with adequate resources, our schools require first-rate leadership. I have studied the issues and the candidates and believe that Bob Poppenga is uniquely qualified to advance initiatives that will improve the education of all of our children.

Darien Shanske



Poppenga will set the bar high for schools

The voters of the Davis have a choice of three candidates for the upcoming DJUSD school board elections, and I am proud to live in a town where we have such qualified individuals willing to serve in the role of school board trustee. I have followed the three campaigns closely, and for the reasons listed below, I believe that the citizens of Davis would be best served by casting their vote for Bob Poppenga.

I have lived in Davis for 12 years and have noticed that we can sometimes get set in our ways. This is wonderful in some ways. I love our hometown traditions. Unfortunately, it can also lead to stagnation.

Bob Poppenga will come to the school board with new ideas and fresh ways of approaching old problems. In order for progress to be made on issues such as the achievement gap, attracting and retaining the best teachers and improving technology use in the classroom, we need a trustee who can be innovative, analytical and thoughtful. Poppenga is all of those things.

A theme of Poppenga’s campaign is “excellence.” Some of the candidates claim that the Davis schools are already excellent. This is equivocal. We are good — very, very good — but we can do better. As a parent with two young children in the school district, I want us to be more than “good.” I want underachieving students to get the best support that they can get. I want students in all classrooms to be challenged to their full potential. I want us to be at the cutting edge of technology so that our students are not left behind.

As a trustee, Poppenga will not be complacent, and he will set the bar high for what Davis schools can and should be.

I sincerely believe that the best choice for Davis schools is Bob Poppenga, and I hope you will join me in supporting him for DJUSD school board trustee.

Cynthia Pickett



Poppenga’s truly inclusive

When I met school board candidate Bob Poppenga at one of his meet-and-greet sessions, his promise of being inclusive and providing a new and independent voice for all children stuck with me. I wondered what actions he would take to show that he is inclusive and he speaks for all children. Having two children in the Davis schools, I wanted to make sure I vote for a candidate who stays to true to his or her words.

I picked up Bob’s flier and went on his website at www.bob4school.org

. I was very surprised to see that he runs a multilingual website with three languages — English, Spanish and Chinese. In his message, he says he desires to create an open and transparent culture and communicate with and engage as many families as possible, and it was important to him that people have the opportunity to read about the issues in their native language.

Indeed, one of the hallmarks of our town is that we have people come from different countries, speak different languages and all strive to raise their children from varied cultural backgrounds. To be truly inclusive, a candidate must try his or her best to make the information available to a diverse audience.

To me, Bob’s multi-language website is a powerful demonstration of his resolve to include. He does not just talk the talk of inclusiveness, he walks the walk, promptly, of being inclusive. I am also impressed that he is the only candidate who has a group of dedicated supporters of varied cultural backgrounds capable of making this happen.

I will vote for Bob for this reason.

Emily Qiu


‘Bob seems like a great guy!’

 “Do you know that person Bob … I can’t remember his last name … running for school board? Well guess what? He just showed up at my door this afternoon to talk about the election. Seems like a great guy. I’m going to vote for him!”

These are recent quotes from my 80-year-old father. I proceeded to explain to him, that, well yes I do know Bob, and he is “great.”

Bob is just what the school board needs. He combines listening to teacher, parent and student perspectives with reading research evidence to make informed decisions about best practices for education. He displays a deep passion for cultivating the potential of all children in our classrooms. Further, he has a strong vision of building collaborative connections between the Davis school system and UC Davis.

I’ve been a professor at UCD for more than 15 years. There is so much untapped opportunity for our K-12 students to learn from our diversely talented faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at UCD; likewise, the UCD students are eager to make an impact by teaching and mentoring in the classroom.

I am thrilled to have a candidate with Bob’s experience, talent and vision on the ballot this November. I encourage you to join me in voting for Bob Poppenga.

Kristin H. Lagattuta, Ph.D.



Creative, proactive leadership

The bedrock of our community is our public school system — a place where we prepare our children for the future. That is why I believe that school board trustee is one of the most important elected positions in our society. I believe Bob Poppenga is the ideal candidate to serve in that crucial role in Davis.

Bob is a professor at the best school of veterinary medicine in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. He wants to give students in our public schools more access to the amazing resources of the university. He facilitated and saw to fruition the collaboration of Davis High School’s vet science class and the UCD vet school. The students have been able to visit the vet school as a way to further explore that career path, (see Oct. 14 Davis Enterprise article to learn more).

Bob believes our public schools have an opportunity to collaborate with UCD and he is already making this happen. We need creative, thoughtful and proactive leadership like Bob’s — creating more learning opportunities for our students. His actions are already benefiting our students. I look forward to seeing what possibilities emerge should we elect Bob.

Krista DeZerega



Bob for Davis schools

I have a daughter in elementary school. My husband and I chose Davis as the community to raise our daughter because of its strong academic program and educational environment. I believe that Bob Poppenga will continue this town’s tradition of excellent schools.

Bob has two daughters, both of whom are currently in the Davis public schools. He knows through their experience the importance of a diversity of programs available to students.

He also recognizes the importance of foreign languages, and will support language-learning opportunities in our schools to help our children become better global citizens.

A vote for Bob is a vote for Davis school kids!

Yang Sun



A thoughtful leader for schools

I first met Bob Poppenga early on a warm Saturday morning in September 2014 during his first run for school board. Bob was one of the first ones at the fall Farmers Market, setting up his pop-up tent, preparing to engage with and answers questions of the curious electorate that makes up our wonderful town of Davis.

What struck me about Bob from the outset was his warm and thoughtful nature. He deeply cares about the well-being of our children and listens before he makes decisions. He is not quick with an easy answer, but rather takes the time to understand a problem before proposing a solution.

Bob’s evidence-based decision making is the product of more than two decades of work in university settings, culminating in his current position as a professor of veterinary medicine at UC Davis. His perspectives are more than theoretical. He serves on the board of Explorit Science Center and has two teenage daughters who ground him in the realities of public education in our town.

As Bob runs for school board a second time, I end this letter by why I will be voting for Bob again: He cares and listens, and I trust him to make evidence-based decisions that are in the best interests of all of our children. Please join me in voting Bob Poppenga for Davis school board.

Shama Mesiwala



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

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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