LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why I'm running for school board

Dear Editor:

My three children were born in Downey. My family, friends and business are here and I care deeply about our community. Like you, I want to see Downey’s youngest generation grow and thrive here while preparing for the challenges of the future. And in the present, I want to see some changes in district leadership. We need an infusion of energy and fresh perspective.

We need strong advocacy for improvement. We need to push for some basics, like restoring music to the elementary schools, and making schools safer with more supervision on playgrounds and during dismissal, for starters. 

I am running for Downey's school board seat in Trustee Area 4 because I strongly believe we need a board member who currently has children in the district. My 5th and 3rd graders attend Price Elementary School where I am a highly involved parent volunteer. I have become passionate about doing what I can to help make our schools the best they can be.

We have a good school district but we could have a great one. Currently, less than half our high school students graduate with the courses needed for acceptance into a four year college.  We can do better. 

Our teachers need the tools and training to keep them growing in their professions and empowered to help every child reach his or her potential. 

Public schools are critical to the future success of the students who attend them, and society as a whole. It is in all our best interest to ensure our schools are as strong as possible. 

As a board member I will challenge the status quo, ask the tough questions, research solutions and listen carefully to the concerns and desires of parents, educators and community members. 

I will work to communicate decisions and results in the best journalistic tradition: with accuracy and timeliness. My experience as an investigative journalist will be useful in this role, along with my experience as a parent and school volunteer.

Our children’s futures will be greatly influenced by their time in Downey schools. These are precious and vitally important years and we have no time to waste in finding and implementing ways to take our district from good to great.

Linda Salomon Saldana