As second semester plans remain uncertain, the Sequoia Union High School District Board of Trustees is working hard to develop plans for next year. 

Returning board member Carrie Du Bois plays a large role in these decisions. During these unprecedented times, she is prioritizing student engagement and helping anyone who is having trouble with distance learning. To reach this goal, Du Bois hopes to accomplish the following: 

  1. Develop a way to track our attendance that can be presented to the board and the community on a regular basis
  2. Increase our mental health resources
  3. Be sure our teachers feel supported 
  4. Encourage better conversations during board meetings — “challenge each other and also listen, and learn, as a governance team”

Carrie Du Bois, board member since 2011

“Electives will remain a priority for me. I believe music is just as important as math,” she says. Regardless of whether M-A returns next semester or not, she would like students to be able to go back for sports, clubs and social interactions.

Although parents and students speculate that it remains unlikely that M-A can return to in-person instruction, Du Bois believes the question of returning does not have a simple yes or no answer: 

“I want our students to have a rich educational experience and some of the hybrid models that have been presented to us are not ideal. We are all working to get students back to campus but the health situation is becoming worse in our county at this time…This is something I think about each day and there are no easy answers.”

The board also recently welcomed new member Rich Ginn, who will be replacing trustee Georgia Jack. He is among the five board members responsible for overseeing almost 10,000 students among five public high schools. Ginn says his skills and experience are what the district needs right now, especially having served as a trustee for the Las Lomitas Elementary School District (one of SUHSD’s largest feeders) for eight years. He also holds an MBA in finance, and believes that “every board should have at least one person with a financial background.” 

Rich Ginn, newly elected trustee

Following his official start date on December 11, Ginn’s first priority is hiring a permanent superintendent to help maximize the high school learning experience during the pandemic. 

“At my first meeting as a trustee, we’ll be selecting a search firm to help the district hire a new superintendent. This search firm will both gather input from all stakeholders about the critical needs for the board to consider when selecting the superintendent and solicit applications from a range of potential candidates that might be a fit for the role,” he stated. 

Two days before Ginn’s starting date, the board will have a study session on the topic of returning. “I am hopeful that there will be significant progress on the return to school question at these meetings,” he said. 

With both a new board member and superintendent, the SUHSD district is dedicated to creating the best learning experience for students, no matter the current situation. In the meantime, students and family members can attend the board’s bi-monthly Wednesday meetings for updated information. 

Emily Xi

Emily Xi is a senior and first-year journalist with the Chronicle. She is interested in writing about M-A, technology, and pop culture.

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