first_img“I would like a member of the school board to participate in the student site council to support communication skills with district teachers and parents,” she said. “I will make communication with the community a priority.” Davis, 79, says she is seeking another four-year term for the same reason she ran in 1986 – to help children. “Anything I can do for kids I’m there for them,” she said. “I want kids to get up there and be somebody.” Davis has lived in Lennox since 1963 and said she has always been involved with the schools. Her son graduated from Lennox High School in 1976, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have attended district schools. She has served on the board of the Centinela Valley Youth Service since the early 1990s. Although Davis is the only board member and only candidate who doesn’t speak Spanish, she supports the district’s bilingual education program. But she wants to see more students speak fluent English at an earlier age. “I don’t want to take away their Spanish or anything,” she said. “But we’ve got to prepare our kids.” Superintendent Bruce McDaniel said 80percent of students in the district are learning English. Davis said everyone in the district should be helping students excel. “We’ve got to make sure that everyone’s in tune together,” she said. “We all have to work together.” Fajardo, who replaced Trini Jimenez on the board after he moved out of the district, said she wants trustees to focus on lifting student achievement, and she believes more parental involvement is needed to make that happen. “More than anything we need to get our parents involved,” she said. “We need to have an open school policy where parents feel comfortable to come to the schools and (we need to) help them understand the school process.” Fajardo, whose 5-year-old daughter attends Moffett Elementary, said she wants to hold training sessions for parents that will teach them about their children’s school system. After teaching for nine years at Lennox Middle School, Fajardo, 34, began this year teaching algebra at Animo Jackie Robinson High School, a charter school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She worked for three years at Loyola Marymount University as assistant director of bilingual programs and was part of the university’s adjunct faculty. Instead of continuing to try out new programs, Fajardo believes Lennox needs to reflect on past mistakes. “I want us to stop trying things, and I want us to start evaluating things,” she said. “We’re hitting and missing. I don’t want us to miss, I want us to reflect.” One issue the winning candidates will need to reflect on is declining enrollment in the 6,800-student inner-city district. McDaniel said enrollment is down 19 percent over the past five years. As a result, the tiny district under the flight path of Los Angeles International Airport has lost more than $5 million in state money, he said. Whoever captures seats on the board Tuesday will need to deal with a reduced budget because of those lost state funds and be open to acquiring money in other ways, McDaniel said. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Mercedes Ibarra, president of the Moffett Elementary PTA, is trying to topple one of the two incumbents – Mary Davis, first elected in 1986, or Angela Fajardo, who was named to fill a board vacancy in May. Ibarra, who moved to Lennox 15 years ago after emigrating from Nicaragua, said she wants the school board to interact more with the largely immigrant community. Ibarra, 44, said the school board decides issues “only at the table. They don’t come to the different schools to see problems and listen to the parents, listen to the teachers and listen to the students.” The mother of two girls who attend Lennox schools, Ibarra is in her second year as Moffett PTA president. She formerly owned a clothing store and is now taking night classes to improve her English. Ibarra wants to get board members out in the field more, specifically to school site councils. LENNOX: PTA president faces school board veteran and a new appointee. By Laura E. Davis Staff Writer A Lennox school trustee with 21 years of experience and another appointed to the board just five months ago face a challenger in Tuesday’s election who says she can do better. last_img

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