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Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Governing Board Member; Proposed Mountain View/Whisman School District

Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues

The questions were prepared by the Los Altos - Mountain View League of Women Voters and asked of all candidates for this office.

See below for questions on Harmonious merger, Vision for new district, Why a candidate

Click on a name for other candidate information.

1. How would you contribute toward the development of unity among the members of the new board and members of the school community to achieve harmonious merger of the new district?

Answer from Carol L. Fisher:

To develop a sense of team among the members of a new merged school board, I would first work with my fellow members to establish ground rules that we would all abide by. These ground rules could include that the board adopt a positive, supportive attitude in the conduct of board business, be receptive and respectful, have integrity, communicate openly, honestly, and clearly, display a high level of professionalism, and operate with fairness.

Once ground rules were established, I would work with my fellow trustees to arrive at a common understanding of the purpose of the board, clearly define our roles as individual board members and as a board, and understand the organizational structure and processes of the school district.

In order to build a greater sense of community throughout the newly merged district, I would encourage and support bringing different school communities together for educational and social events.

Answer from Juan C. Aranda, Jr.:

I would offer my life experiences knowledge of management, affability, appreciation for diversity, profound respect for responsible participation,and ability to work out any differences that might arise. I have been noted for successfully interfacing with the community to address and resolve a myriad of situations. As a member of the governing board , I would dedicate the time and effort that a school district comprising 5,000 students requires to meet and exceed expectations.

Answer from Rose Marie Filicetti:

I trust the community to elect trustees who can honor the past, but focus on the future with a "unity of purpose" - to work together to do what is best for the children of Mountain View. The merger is a unique community-building opportunity to share the best of both districts and to communicate a community-wide vision for education.

As a member of a new board, my responsibility is to serve with honesty, integrity and openness, listen respectfully, build consensus from diverse viewpoints, make informed decisions, and build support for community-wide education based on a common unifying goal - to do our best for the children of Mountain View.

Answer from Russell W. "Russ" Wood:

I view myself as a "peacemaker" with an ability to listen to and understand all sides of a discussion. I am, at the least, acquainted with most of the candidates for the merged school board and would be able to work with all of them.

It will be necessary to acquire community input, support and opinion before making major decisions. I will actively seek that input.

Answer from Joseph S. "Joe" Kleitman:

Unity is achieved by being accessible, listening well, working together, and respecting others.

I will make myself accessible by holding regular open office hours, just like I did as Mayor. I will work hard to draw out information and listen to all sides on the issues that come before the board. I will work with other board members, parents and administrators to find creative solutions that serve the students, the district, and the taxpayers. Most importantly, I will conduct the business of the board in a respectful and approachable manner.

Answer from Frances R. "Fran" Kruss:

I am a good listener. I approach issues with questions:
-"How is this going to effect our children and their education?"
-"How is the staff going to be effected?"
-"What process was used to reach this outcome?"
-"How much will it cost?" Where are we going to get the funding?"
-"What are our priorities?" Our Strategic Plan should reflect these priorities.
-"Are we making decisions based on our priorities?" Children First!

Having the involvement and input of parents, staff, community (including businesses), and administrators, will assist the newly formed board to get to know the people who are part of this new community. Definitely the Board will be a big part of this new community of learners. I will need your input, to assist me in getting to know you and in making difficult decisions.

2. What is your vision for the newly merged district?

Answer from Russell W. "Russ" Wood:

I see an inclusive district which truly represents all of the elementary and middle school students in Mountain View. A district that prepares it's students to enter high school and excel. A district that listens to the community it represents.

Answer from Frances R. "Fran" Kruss:

My vision for the newly merged district is to take the best policies, practices, programs, and people to ensure that every child can be a successful learner.

Answer from Rose Marie Filicetti:

As a member of the Strategic Planning Teams of both districts, I had the unique opportunity to hear from parents and staff of both districts, community members, and resource providers about their vision for Mountain View.

I share our community's vision for education:
- focus on academic achievement
- support the whole child
- celebrate our diversity
- provide choice of schools and programs
- develop local resources
- secure financial stability
- promote opportunities for students and staff

My commitment is to promote the best people, programs, and practices to achieve the high academic standards set for all students.

Answer from Juan C. Aranda, Jr.:

I see a district with the ability to develop essential infrastucture and implement an outstanding curriculum. I envision a district aware of differences, sensitive to values, committed to fairness, and open to ideas that improve results. I strive for a community with the determination and resources to satisfy the needs of our children.

Answer from Carol L. Fisher:

The Whisman and Mountain View School District (WSD and MVSD) communities share very similar visions for their schools. I share the visions of expecting high academic achievement, building an inclusive community, increasing financial independence, supporting children's academic, social, emotional, and physical needs, and working to give the Mountain View community a better knowledge of their public elementary schools.

My work is dedicated to meeting these visions.

Answer from Joseph S. "Joe" Kleitman:

I see a single elementary school district making it much easier for cooperation between our schools and our city to occur. I see Mountain View's children reaping the benefits of less government. And, I see a much more efficient and effective way to provide each and every Mountain View child a superior education and parents with "better than expected" service.

3. What issues or events have shaped your decision to seek trusteeship on the school board?

Answer from Joseph S. "Joe" Kleitman:

1. I look forward to working on the merger. It will allow me to continue using my leadership skills and the governing experience I gained as a councilmember to improve for youth. Our children are a constituency I have always championed - and, they don't even vote - imagine that!

2. Many students have been left behind in MVSD - I don't want to see this happen in the merged district. I am motivated to create program which identify and addresses the educational needs of every child regardless of race or economic standing. District leaders must stop using our diversity as an excuse for underachievement!

3. The climate of distrust and the adversarial relationship between the district and teachers must change. We should honor and value our teachers so they don't quit the merged district.

4. I want to avoid poor community decisions and repair damaged relations brought on by the Cooper/Morgan school debacle. My extensive governing experience will help do this.

Answer from Juan C. Aranda, Jr.:

My motivation stems from the resolution to give our children a better world and the realization that our children need a good education for this to become a reality.

Answer from Frances R. "Fran" Kruss:

I have enjoyed being a member of the Whisman School Board for several years. We will be facing many decisions and challenges as a new board and newly merged district. I can bring both my critial thinking and decision making, plus my years of experience on the Whisman School District Board to this trusteeship. Vote Kruss for Kids.

Answer from Russell W. "Russ" Wood:

As an parent active in school affairs, I decided that the best way to create a school system worthy of the Mountain View community is to fully understand how it operates and work together with the parents, teachers, staff and administration to build the best district possible. The best opportunity to do this is to serve the community on the school board.

Answer from Carol L. Fisher:

As a school volunteer and involved parent, I learned that MVSD is well run and largely successful in its mission to educate children. I also saw areas that could use improvement and felt that I could influence positive change in the district by becoming a trustee. In my time on the board I have worked to improve district communications with the community and establish well defined processes that become foundations for district operations.

Answer from Rose Marie Filicetti:

After six years on the Mountain View Board, I am motivated by the same principles to seek election to the new Board - community service and leadership.

Board service for the benefit of children has been the most rewarding - and often most challenging - community service. I want to apply the resources available in a larger district to create enriched opportunities for learning, choices of schools and programs, and smaller classes and campuses.

I want to continue in a community leadership role developed as former Board President and Bond Campaign Co-Chair. I am invested in Mountain View's future - our children!

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League, but formatted for Web display. Limit your answers to an average of 100 words per question, with the total not to exceed 300 words for 3 questions. Please count your words. We use the same word counting rules as the Registrar of Voters, e.g. Los Altos is one word.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily.

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Created: January 25, 2001 02:38
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