We’ve heard the question again and again – from parents and teachers across Thousand Oaks and Ventura County, from elected officials throughout southern California, from free-speech advocates nationwide, from folks who’ve read the news in local papers everywhere. What’s going ON with the school board in the Conejo Valley, and can you please make it stop?
It’s a fair question. CVUSD has a longstanding reputation for excellence, and many of its graduates excel at fine universities across the state and nation. Its teachers are highly qualified; its facilities are terrific. So what’s gone wrong with the school board?
We are concerned members of our community, Republicans and Democrats, united in our hope of returning our school board’s focus where it belongs: to our students, and to the issues that really matter in our district.
At the hands of the current board majority over the last two years, our community has endured – among other transgressions – an attack on our high school English curriculum; the censure of longtime trustee Mike Dunn, after he threatened retaliation against the employer of a community member who had criticized him; and a relentless effort, employing a series of underhanded political maneuvers, to deny the public its right to participate in local government.
Along the way, the board majority has disrespected and dismissed the roles of administrators and teachers in making district policy; ignored and belittled student and parent voices; and craftily circumvented the will of the California Department of Education, which went to great lengths to distance itself from CVUSD’s literature-censorship policy.
A coalition of parents, educators, elected officials and concerned citizens has opposed these misdeeds at every turn. Now we are using our voices to support the work of Conejo Together – a committee organized to elect Jenny Fitzgerald, Bill Gorback and Cindy Goldberg on November 6.
The mismanagement of our school district’s most precious resources and responsibilities — its students, teachers and curriculum – stops now if we vote together. We’re standing with Jenny, Bill, and Cindy as they strive to return civility and good governance to the CVUSD board. What’s at stake is nothing less than the reputation of our community, and the quality of our children’s education.
Congresswoman Julia Brownley
State Senator Henry Stern
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin
Dianne McKay, Ventura County Community College District Trustee
Dr. Betsy Connolly, CVUSD trustee
Pat Phelps, CVUSD trustee
Peggy Buckles, former CVUSD trustee
Jeff Baarstad, former CVUSD superintendent
Mario Contini, former CVUSD superintendent
Robert Fraisse, former CVUSD superintendent
*titles for identification purposes only
Andi Ackerman, Gale Alcorn, Barbara Andrews, Kari Ballard, Ron Bauer, Joshua Beller, Michelle Beller, Jacqueline Berger, Beth Berry, Tyler Berry, Leslie Bird, Alana Bond, Brigette Brazier, Colleen Briner-Schmidt, Pamela Burns, Amy Buss, Nelson Buss, Gordon Clint, Patrick Connolly DVM, Gwen Cummings, Jacey Dexter, Shannon Diffner, Dinah Gray Emmons, Joan Edwards, Suzanne Elliott, Christine Elowitt, Narda Fargotstein, Paul Fargotstein, Deana Fechner, Lindsay Filgas, Mary Freed, Lauren D. Gill, Cary Ginell, Gail Ginell, Wendy Goldstein, Michael Gollub MD, Sarah Gonda DVM, Madison Goodwin, Ann Hart, Curtis Hart, Dorothy Hatfield, Kenneth L Hibbitts, Sally J. Hibbitts, Wendy Hoffman, Carrie Howard, Richard Intlekofer, Lori Jacobs, Steve Johnson, Lindsay Jones, Jean Kammerer, Steve Kammerer, Heather Kennedy, Rachel Kleinzweig, Hui Koon Melissa Khor, Jenny Kreitman, Barbara Leighton, Eric Levy, Susan Levy, Linda Mason, Andrea Mettel, Rob Mettel, Mindy Meyers, Gina Muscatel, Lora Adrian Novak, Deidre Parmenter, Lori Peters, José Luis Pino, Brian Pletcher, Judith Rabin, Denise Reader, Patti Reis, Lena Robins-Faden, Ryan Robins-Faden, Rena Robles, Chris Sessing, Jeanne Sessing, Lauren Shaffer, Bonnie Shubb, Karen Simon MD, Lynne Simpson, Heather Skelly, Mike Skelly, Melissa Smight, Paul A. Smith, Marcine Solarez, Kay Tallman, Mary Anne Van Zuyle, Hal Vick, Valerie Vollmer, Kirsten Walker, Janet Miller Wall, Brian Weihe, Brett W. Welch, Danielle C Welch, Don White, Jess Winfield, Barbara Wolfe, Stephen Wolfe, Katherine Wooldridge, Kelly Zia, Joyce Miller, Lisa Powell, Colleen Delaney, Myra Stevens , Scott Van Atta, Gina Albright , Colleen Debler, Garett Guenot, Katie Yant, Sheri Henderson, Ellen Murphy, Julia Blietz, Karen Gorback, Betina G. San Martin, Sue Heraper, Caroline Jewett, Moira P Fagan Simpson, Julie Lewis, Serena Couch, Marcy Duben, Ben Atkins, Sarah Casey, Taira Bermudez , Heather Spohr , Mike Spohr, Lisa Rado, Jon Jewett C.P.A., Michelle Saremi, Jamie Jewett, Dale A. Dooley, Jennifer Mutch, Barbara Appell, Barbara Appell, Elizabeth Hoskinson, Cyndi Horwitz, Kathy Kotin, Autum Sasala, Marty Hobbs, Penny Greenblatt, Jerry Ludlow, Emmanuelle Lipsky, Molly Salmom, Angie Wheeker, Nathan Alamillo, Brandi Kofler-Davidson, Shannon Baranski, Rachel Gordon, Bella Robakowski, Shelli Lieb, Deanne Lowery, Andrea Rohman, Kinsie Flame, Doug Castell, Jill Magnante, Traci Brown, Gail Casey, Davi Rutenberg, Steve Belfer, D.J. Cockrill, Mary Lock, Penny Strowger, Lisa Anthony , Sharon Debidour, Kim Stelle, Kristen Skaff, Seana Mekari, M.Ed., Beth Pearcey Neal, Susan Cunningham, Natalie Song, Dana Harris, Heidi Rehwald, Ellen Muscarella, Joy Springer, Sarah Schwendimann, Kathryn Mallen, Fran Vigne, Sharon Beck LCSW, Barbara Madvin, Arlene Mead, Hilary Waldinger, Mike Magnante, Courtney Stockton, Rita Norton, Lucia Lemieux, Sue Wells, Karan Kyzer, Sue Bosworth, Kathy Leslie, Rita Norton, Dawn Stines, Steve Woodward, Ron & Elke Block, Janell Kluss, Pam and Eric Pender, Celeste Russi, Jessica Jewett, Soizic Johnson, Daphne Erikson, Lauren Denchfield, Danielle Sanford, Jennifer Birkel, Raymond A Lemieux, Heather Hamilton, Robin & Ross Berman, Jamie Shea, Brenda Lee Rogers, Kathleen Davidson, Andy Pletcher, Tracy Tubb, Stephanie Skidmore, April Parise, Sandra Martinez, Julia Blietz, Alison Friedman, Britta Bass, Bryan Friedman, Kyle Rohrbach, Mike and Jackie Greenhill, Brad Hamilton, Cindy Mayling, Paula Nathan, Lynn Baum, Athol Wong, Kris Casanova, Jennifer Reed, Janet Baird, Dawn and Frank LaGuardia, Amanda Haver, Haley Bacon, Christie Conti, Sheila Zurmuhlen, Carol Southwood, Brittany Starkey, Amy Greenwaldt, Kelly Sutton, Samantha Stone, Leanne Tapper, Jeanine Renfrew-Iversen, Carie Salas, Mark J Sinnamon, Nicolle Steiner, Lisa and Eric Hunzeker , Scott Hallock, Tracy Carpenter, Jennifer Birkel, Cynthia Thomas, Spenser and Denise Lucarelli , Lucia Lang, Karen Olson, Melissa Barber, Michael McCarver, Dave Pomerantz, Catherine Grace, Richard Kick, Valarie Neel, Jessie and Ellen Krapff, Jake Anderson, Donna Rauch, Marcia Price, Erin Hafey, Paul Blakelock, Amy Wang, Paul Blakelock, MaryLou Aesquivel, Elise Laina, Kristy MacCullen , Kathy Jonokuchi, DVM, Claire Fratello, Stacy Hatfield, Chloe Nash, Aaron Van Etten, Christy Glaubke, Greg Hatfield, Kerri Yim, Diana Maiorca