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Commentary: Why I wish to continue to serve Newport-Mesa Unified

Newport Harbor High School
Newport Harbor High School in July 2020. Candidate for Newport-Mesa Unified board of trustees Vicki Snell explains her bid for reelection.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

While there are many reasons to run for public office, my overwhelming motivation is to serve the community and make a difference.

The responsibilities are many and come with difficult and often unpopular decisions. When first elected to the Newport-Mesa Unified school board six years ago, I was advised to grow a thicker skin. Upon reflection, I believe my continued sensitivity and empathy has made me a better trustee. When elected officials are hardened to public criticism, they often fail to thoroughly reflect on their decisions and understand the effect those decisions have on the citizens they represent.

Board members must not be hesitant to regroup and fix any miscalculations that have been made by the administration and by the board regardless of the fallout.

Going forward, our challenges are many in navigating through the COVID-19 crisis while keeping students and staff physically and emotionally safe and improving educational models. My 20 years of school experience and connection to the Newport-Mesa community are especially important during these unprecedented and challenging times. Further, I want to continue my work in ensuring all students receive what they need academically, emotionally and socially to be successful.

I want to continue the district’s growth in career technology education providing the opportunity for students to gain real world experience with the option to join the workforce directly out of high school or continue their education in a certificate program or four-year college. I will continue to fight for equity in academics, enrichment and opportunities with a focus on our underserved students.

In the last six years that I have been a member of the board, I have strongly advocated for the Estancia Zone. Continuing to improve our neighborhood schools, providing equity in state of the art facilities, expanding secondary pathways and growing our social-emotional and academic interventions have been my focus.

Estancia High School has more career technology classes than any other school in the district and they are thriving. I look forward to attending events in our new Estancia Aquatics Center as well as the opportunity for all Estancia Zone schools to utilize our long-awaited Estancia theater. Finally, I will continue to inform and be accessible for feedback from the community and will always make students the top priority in every decision that comes before the board.

The writer is a board member of Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 1.

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