As previously reported in Patch,there are five candidates currently running for three seats on the Las Virgenes Unified School District school board: Lesli Stein, the incumbent, Angela Cutbill, Dallas Lawrence, Mary Jo Ammon and Ray Pearl.
Patch has sent out a questionnaire* to each of the candidates, and we will be reporting on their individual responses.
We profile Mary Jo Ammon, who moved into the community with her husband, Dennis, and three children specifically for the schools, she said. Her sons attended Las Virgenes Schools and took advantage of many of the extras the district offers, including sports, music, technology and art programs. She has worked at the A.E. Wright Media Center, running the media center for the last four years.Patch: Why are you running for school board?
Mary Jo Ammon: I am running for the Las Virgenes Unified School Board because of my belief in the importance of public education. I have an enormous sense of affiliation and admiration for our school community, and I have been proud to be part of LVUSD. I have been involved with the district for almost 20 years, as a parent volunteer, community leader and an employee for the district. I want to use my knowledge and expertise to give back, to ensure that all students receive a quality education and that they continue to benefit from the abundance of opportunities that my sons received.
Patch: What do you think are some of the biggest issues the district will face during your first term if you are elected?
Ammon: I believe it's essential to continue to emphasize options for our students, and opportunities for new programming, like L-STEM at Sumac, IB at Agoura High School and the Media Academy at Calabasas High School, to name a few. These types of programs are good for students as they enrich the learning experience. They also help to attract and maintain students, which is important as we face declining enrollment.
Common Core State Standards is a huge change for all schools. We need to prepare our staff through professional development opportunities, educate our community, and maintain a focus on technology to be prepared for the full implementation of Common Core and work to more fully integrate technology into the classroom.
Adopting a fiscally responsible budget is always a challenge, working towards finding the balance between fiscal stability, while maintaining quality programs, and low class size is a priority.
Patch: Why am I qualified to serve on the school board?
Patch: What is the first thing you would do if elected:
Ammon: Visit our school sites and meet with the various stakeholders to expand my understanding of their concerns and needs.
Patch: What are your ideas for generating additional funding for our district: