By Astrid Cante, Public Relations Officer for Palmdale School District CSEA Chapter 296
Classified employees from Chapter 296, Palmdale School District are proud to present their choice of candidates for the upcoming elections for Palmdale School District Board of Trustees.
Classified employees are the front line to serving the kids of PSD. Our children interact and depend on classified employees on a daily basis. Who are classified employees? They are the bus drivers, cafeteria staff, playground aides, custodians, health aides, library aides, computer technicians, school secretaries, administrative clerks, special education and teacher assistants, para-educators, payroll, benefits, and accounting technicians, enrollment clerks, family community liaisons, and LVN’s. Classified employees are dedicated to serving the children of our community as well as ensuring that they are well taken care of everyday of the week.
It is because of this dedication that the classified employees of PSD seek to make a change from within. The classified unit has taken the brunt of the cuts the current board of trustees and superintendent have approved for the past 10 years. No PSD employee has seen a cost of living raise in that amount of time (or more), and classified positions have been cut year to year, taking services away from the schools your children attend.
On Thursday September 26, 2013, the classified members met to vote on candidates to endorse. There are three seats open for election and 11 candidates. The choice was not easy, as there are many people who have demonstrated true interest in representing the classified unit. Our members chose to endorse Nancy Smith, Don Wilson, and Juan Carrillo.
Nancy Smith has a long and rich history in the Antelope Valley and within Palmdale School District. Mrs. Smith has lived in Palmdale for 30 years, raised three children who became successful teachers and has grandchildren who currently attend PSD. Mrs. Smith was once a classified employee and even served as PSD superintendent; she is not only personally invested to teachers and classified employees of PSD but also has a deep understanding of finances and negotiating that PSD employees need in a board member. She is a strong woman and a true leader who we believe will make a positive impact and difference.
Don Wilson is also personally vested in PSD, as his wife is a teacher in the district and his now retired sister was a classified employee as well. Don not only attends board meetings, but is always willing to ask the tough questions at every meeting he attends. Mr. Wilson has spent countless hours learning about what goes on with PSD, and is more than ready to learn about our classified unit. He is a resident of our community who cares about children’s education and understands that classified employees are an intricate part of their success. It is his strong voice, caring disposition and presence that won the vote of our members.
Juan Carrillo is a current PSD parent, who has seen the changes and cuts that have occurred during the past few years. Mr. Carrillo understands that these cuts in salaries and staff affect children’s education, and it’s the reason why he has chosen to run for board of trustees. Mr. Carrillo seeks to make a change in the way PSD treats its employees and is just as willing to invest the amount of time necessary to protect our jobs and salaries.
Chapter 296 is confident that these three candidates will be the right voice for our unit and our children’s education. They understand Palmdale, education, and Palmdale School District as they are life-long residents and plan to remain members of this community. Their attachment and devotion to Palmdale School District is clear and our members look ahead to a positive and fruitful campaign.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.
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