Election 2002: Fowler brings ed experience

Stefani Fowler is an educator who feels that with her
qualifications, she can make a difference at San Benito High
School.
Stefani Fowler is an educator who feels that with her qualifications, she can make a difference at San Benito High School.

Fowler, who taught special education in the Hollister School District for six years before working for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District in Watsonville, is running for the San Benito High School Board of Trustees on Nov. 5, in order to make some changes she feels are necessary.

“We need strong leadership to affect the necessary changes and I believe my education experience as well as experience as an educator can help make a difference in the decision-making process that needs to take place to affect that change,” Fowler said.

Fowler is vying for one of three open seats against incumbents Sylvia Sims DeLay, Ken Kovanda and Judy Rider, and challengers Jan Joseph and Bill Tiffany.

She said there is a lack of trust between the current Board, teachers and the school administration. And Fowler wants to reestablish trust through better communication.

“One of the first steps is to reestablish trust,” she said. “It’s important if we want to make any headway with the educational process that needs to take place. To build a healthy school and work environment trust is going to be a vital factor. Obviously there’s been a lack of trust between teachers and administration and teachers and board.”

Fowler said that only 25 percent of graduates from the high school go on to attend a four-year college and that programs should be implemented at the school so students can be successful after graduation.

“I believe we need to look at the programs and assist the other 75 percent of kids in decision-making process beyond high school graduation,” she said. “If that means a countywide vocational program that puts kids into an apprenticeship with local businesses, then by all means lets look at the alternatives.”

Fowler said that she and the other candidates who are challenging the incumbents of the school board – Tiffany and Joseph – have met with different organizations and community members to hear what changes they would like for SBHS, something she feels is important.

“The Board is there not only to make decisions but to field comments and look at issues,” Fowler said. “As a Board member I want to know what students, parents and teachers want. In order to affect change it can’t be a decision-making process that takes place in one single group. All the parties involve have to be involved in the decision-making process.”

If elected, Fowler wants to create meetings beyond Trustee meetings where parents, students and other community members come together to discuss issues and ideas regarding education at the high school.

Fowler is endorsed by the:

– San Benito High School Teachers’ Association

– Hollister Elementary Schools Teachers’ Association

– Future Farmers of America Boosters

– League of United Latin American Citizens

– SBHS California Schools Employees’ Association

– Parents and Students for Educational Justice.

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