Category Archives: EDUCATION

A high school for Temescal Valley?

Hello Neighbors!

The WeAreTV Education Committee continues to meet with Corona-Norco Unified School District administrators and our elected board member, Trustee Bill Pollock, to bring a high school to Temescal Valley.

The committee has created a survey to find out the type of high school the majority of Temescal Valley residents would prefer – a specialized school vs. a standard high school to be built sooner vs. later?

We are asking all Temescal Valley residents to participate in the survey whether you have students in your household or not. We all pay school district taxes and we all care about property values. A high school located here would increase property values and at the same time decrease commute-time traffic on our roadways caused by parents driving students to Corona schools.

Won’t you please take a minute to share your opinion? The survey is short – just three questions and a place to comment if you so desire.

Thank you …
Larissa Adrian, Chairwoman
WeAreTV Education Committee

TAKE THE SURVEY:

http://tinyurl.com/TVECHighSchool

Pollock will represent valley on CNUSD board

cnusd126In a very close race, Bill Pollock has been declared the winner for the Corona-Norco Unified School District Trustee Area 5 seat.

After the Nov. 8 election, Pollock led candidate Jami Merchant by 230 votes with 261,500 ballots yet to be counted. The vote tally was updated nine times and at one point Pollock only led Merchant by 34 votes. The final certified vote was released by the county Registrar’s Office Dec. 6 showing Pollock the winner by 53 votes.

This was the first election that board members were chosen by district instead of at-large. Trustee Area 5 includes all of Temescal Valley within the CNUSD boundaries and a portion of Corona. Both Pollock and Merchant reside in Corona. Chad Morgan and Larissa Adrian are Temescal Valley residents. Chances of having a Temescal Valley representative elected to the board were lessened with two valley residents on the ballot.

Pollock said he’s looking forward to working with Temescal Valley residents – many who have been outspoken about the need for a high school here, the traffic situation in getting their students to school and the alleged lack of representation for Temescal Valley by the district.

BILL POLLOCK CNUSD CANDIDATE

THE POLLOCK FAMILY

THE POLLOCK FAMILY

pollockName:  Bill Pollock 

Age:  52 

Resides:  Corona  

Family:  Wife — Christina Pollock, teacher, Garretson Elementary School; two sons, ages 17 and 22

Occupation:  Physician Assistant, Citrus Valley Family Practice, since 1999 

Education:  Bachelor of Science, Kinesiology, UCLA; Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, UCLA; Master of Science, Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University; Physician Assistant Degree, Wake Forest University School of Medicine 

Community Involvement:

  • Team Physician Assistant, Centennial High School, since 2003 (provide medical coverage to student-athletes). I also provide injury care and Concussion Management to student-athletes at Santiago, Roosevelt and Corona high schools on an on-call basis
  • School Site Council, Centennial, since 2008
  • WATCHD.O.G.S. Dads Club
  • Computer Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Board, CNUSD/Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE)
  • High School Sports Physical Organizer (organizes sports physicals at the CNUSD high schools and donates the money received back to the participating schools)
  • PTSA member, since 1999
  • Student Interview/Health Panel, Career Expo, CNUSD/Corona Chamber of Commerce
  • Worship Team/Music Ministry, (percussionist), Northpoint Church
  • Medical Response Team, Northpoint Church
  • Classroom volunteer, multiple CNUSD schools
  • Health Education Presenter, various CNUSD schools. (Topics include: heart health; cancer prevention; dangers of drugs/alcohol; skin health/skin cancer prevention; concussions)
  • Participant, WASC Accreditation Visits, parent/community representative, Centennial High
  • Advisory Board, Corona Life Services
  • Annual participant, American Cancer Society, Relay for Life
  • Friends of Corona Public Library, member

Learn More About Me:  Website: www.voteforbillpollock.com  Facebook: Elect Bill Pollock for School Board; Email: bcjcpoll@sbcglobal.net

Why are you seeking election?
I love our community, and I’m passionate about doing all I can to help our students and schools be safe and successful. Living and working in Corona for almost 50 years, I’ve learned three important things:

  • OUR COMMUNITY IS INCOMPARABLE
  • AN EDUCATION IS INVALUABLE
  • OUR KIDS ARE INCREDIBLE

I believe that education is the cornerstone of our lives, and that everyone should have the opportunity to obtain a quality education. By striving to learn, we continue to grow as individuals, and as a community. That’s why I place such a high priority in our educational system and schools.

What are the predominant issues facing the Corona-Norco Unified School District and how would you address them?
We need safe and healthy schools. This entails physical safety and emotional safety. I want to create programs that help identify and address mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. I want to eliminate the stigma of mental health issues, so we can avoid the detrimental consequences seen from these issues (such as bullying, suicides, school shootings). More psychologists should be available at our schools, including at the elementary level. I want more programs to prevent bullying and suicides, including educational programs, assemblies, and online resources for students and parents to promote safety.

  • We need smaller class sizes. Research shows smaller classes allow teachers and students to be better engaged in learning, which leads to improved student success, earlier identification of learning/behavioral issues and improved teacher morale.
  • I believe in educating the whole child. Thus, programs in music and the arts, performing arts and clubs/activities should be expanded instead of eliminated.
  • Computer Technical Education (CTE) programs and vocational training programs need to be provided for students wanting to pursue career opportunities. As much as we would want every student to attend a four-year university, some students are geared towards a trade or vocation, so these programs are essential for their success.
  • We need to continue preparing our students for the 21st Century. Continuing to provide programs such as GATE, STEM, Dual Immersion, IB and AVID are essential, with the goal to expand these programs to other school sites.
  • We need to provide additional Special Education resources. More one-on-one help in the classroom benefits both student and teacher.
  • We need to equip our teachers and staff with the necessary resources to effectively do their jobs. State-of-the-art technology, mentoring programs and Program Development opportunities help our educators do their jobs, thus helping students be successful.

What are the predominant school issues facing Temescal Valley and how would you address them?
Temescal Valley is a wonderful community with unique issues, as it encompasses two school districts, requires different agencies for police, fire, and utilities, and has to deal with laborious transportation/traffic problems. With more housing planned, some of these issues are going to worsen. In relation to schools:

  • I believe in neighborhood schools. Driving 30 minutes to get to your high school is unacceptable. I want to see both a middle school and high school in the Temescal Valley. While transforming Todd and TVES into academies are short-term solutions, these sites aren’t conducive for TK-8th grades for the long-term. Finding adequate sites for secondary schools and procuring funding, is a priority. This would benefit the community, reduce traffic woes for the TV (and surrounding areas), and provide safer schools. Until secondary schools are a reality, developing programs at Todd Academy and TVES can help with some issues. For example, using older students for Student Valet programs and for Mentoring/Tutoring opportunities can improve safety and student performance.
  • Expand programs to TV schools. For example, implementing a comprehensive GATE program, and a Dual Immersion Program at TV schools would allow students to remain at their home schools and will facilitate the neighborhood school philosophy.
  • Increase community and business involvement in the schools (such as adopt-a-school programs), to further enhance the community relationship, and off-set some funding issues.
  • Maximize communication with county and surrounding city representatives, so our children are safe at school, and while traveling to and from campuses.
  • The CNUSD Trustee Area 5 board member should be involved with the TV Education Committee to allow continued communication and cooperation. Other board members should be encouraged to attend committee meetings, for enhanced involvement and communication.

CHAD MORGAN CNUSD CANDIDATE

THE MORGAN FAMILY

THE MORGAN FAMILY

morganName: Chad Morgan

Age: 37

Resides: Sycamore Creek, Temescal Valley

Family: Married; two daughters, ages 8 and 10 and two nieces, 13 and 14, who are very close to us.

Occupation: Attorney

Education: BA, Business Administration, CSU Fullerton; JD Western State University College of Law

 Community Involvement:

  • Corona-Norco AYSO Board Member
  • Temescal Valley Little League Coach
  • Riverside County Bar Association

Learn More About Me:  Website: www.ChadMorganForSchoolBoard.com; Email: morganchad@gmail.com; Telephone: 951-667-1927

Why are you seeking election?
I’m running for school board because I think the district needs a better long-term vision. We have great schools, and I want to make sure they continue be great for many, many years.

I am an attorney and focus primarily on government law and am a member of the State Bar’s Public Law section. I’ve worked with and advised government officials and agencies for most of my professional career. I understand the regulatory environment the district operates in and have the experience and relationships needed to make sure CNUSD parents get the new high school we need.

What are the predominant issues facing the Corona-Norco Unified School District and how would you address them?
CNUSD has great teachers and schools. We could (and should) be better, but when I look at schools around the state, I’m very happy that my kids attend schools here.

At the school board level, the predominate issue I see is that we need a better long-term vision.

In 2008, the district cancelled plans to build a southern high school even though there were 920 high school-age students living south of Cajalco. CNUSD said at the time that Sycamore Creek was “built out” and growth had stopped. Of course, Sycamore Creek was not built out and development had only paused. It’s started again with renewed vigor, and today, everyone in the district is suffering the consequences of that decision. A new school would not only be convenient for Temescal Valley residents, but would also ease traffic and crowding at every other CNUSD high school.

Long term budgeting is another issue. In 2006, CNUSD passed Measure U, a $250 million bond measure. In 2016, Measure GG authorized another $396 million of bonds. Over 10 years, this is nearly 2/3 of a billion dollars. A lot of these borrowed funds will be used to pay for maintenance that CNUSD should have been saving for over the last 10-20 years. Saving is hard and might not be popular when every stakeholder wants money now, but it is the responsible thing to do.

As a school board member, I will look at decisions with a long-term perspective. What will the effect of our actions be in 5, 10, or years into the future? We’re doing pretty good in the present, but I want to make sure we do great tomorrow.

What are the predominant school issues facing Temescal Valley and how would you address them?
The issues facing Temescal Valley schools aren’t that much different from the rest of the district with one exception: Temescal Valley residents have the longest commutes to middle and high schools.

The addition of 7th and 8th grades at the “new” Todd Academy has given many Temescal Valley residents the option of staying closer to home for middle school rather than commuting to El Cerrito. I’ve heard mostly positive feedback about the change and we should look at expanding this program. Of course, anyone who prefers a more traditional middle school experience should not face any obstacles to an intra-district transfer to El Cerrito (or other middle school) if that is their desire.

While adding middle and high school capacity to Temescal Valley will have an immediate impact on local families, this is not a Temescal Valley issue. Adding capacity here helps everyone. It would be a positive change for the entire district.

Another predominate issue for Temescal Valley schools is the day-to-day challenges of operating in a district with 50 other schools and 55,000 students. CNUSD is huge, and virtually every Inland teacher I talk to wants to become a teacher here. CNUSD hires the best and should trust our teachers to do what is best for their students, their schools and the communities they serve. While this is true district-wide, Temescal Valley’s remoteness compared to the rest of the district makes it doubly true here. As a school board member, I will work to implement policies that will give more local control to our teachers. The district should oversee, not manage, our schools.

 

JAMI MERCHANT CNUSD CANDIDATE

THE MERCHANT FAMILY

THE MERCHANT FAMILY

merchantName: Jami Merchant

Age: 35

Resides: Dos Lagos, Corona 

Family:  Husband — Ryan; Daniel, 5 in December; Connor,18 months 

Occupation: Education Outreach Coordinator for Optimum Seismic 

Education: CNUSD from K-12, RCC, Licensed EMT

Community Involvement: 

  • Greater Corona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, treasurer
  • Citrus Springs Home Owners Association, vice president
  • Circle City Kiwanis, board member
  • Corona Chamber Foundation, board member
  • Riverside Community College District, Friends of Forensics, Board of Governors member
  • Corona History Association, secretary
  • Avidly volunteers in the classroom
  • Awanas Sparks Leader 

Learn More About Me: Website: www.jamimerchant.com  Facebook: Elect Jami Merchant for CNUSD School Board 

My endorsements include: Corona-Norco Teachers Association, California School Employee Association, CalFire Local 2881, Riverside County Sheriffs’ Association, S.R. “Al” Lopez, Western Municipal Water District board president; Virginia Blumenthal, RCCD board president

Why are you seeking election?
My love for education and appreciation for the education process began at an early age since many of my family members were educators. I understand the important balance of maintaining a great working environment for the teachers and support staff while making sure the district has a rigorous academic program that gives students all the tools they need to have a great and successful education. All of this with the understanding that Kids Are Always First.

I am committed to representing the parents, students, employees and all stakeholders in the most honest and energetic manner possible.

What are the predominant issues facing the Corona-Norco Unified School District and how would you address them?
The district has a geography problem. The district resources to new outlying communities, especially at the high school level, is lacking. I will work with the district to:

  • Continue conservative fiscal management and to assure bond money is being used as intended. I will dig deep to see where and how money is being spent. It is important we use the money the most efficient way we can. We need to make it priority to expand programs for our students and assuring teachers have the necessary tools and equipment in the classroom.
  • Put more emphasis on class size reduction. I will work side-by-side with the CNTA and the district to assure they continue on the path to reduce class size.
  • Work with the district to increase school safety and ensure schools are seen as a family-friendly, community resource that strengthen neighborhoods.
  • Broaden programs for special needs children. When a child has special needs or a learning disability parents should not have to fight to get their children in the proper programs or services. As a district, we need to make it more accessible for our students to be in the programs and have the resources to ensure they are in the best learning environment for their learning style and or disability.
  • Expand the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) and Career Technical Education (CTE) emphasizing workforce preparedness programs. It is not practical to think all students are going to go to college after high school. We need to give them the tools and training while in high school so when they graduate they are able to find a job and make a median income.
  • Focus on making sure teachers are equipped with all the necessary technology and tools in the classroom

What are the predominant school issues facing Temescal Valley and how would you address them?
Issues facing Temescal Valley are:

We do not have a voice or someone representing us at the district level. When I am elected I am committed to be that voice and will be active within the community, and accessible for all parents, students, teachers and support staff. My neighborhood sits at the gateway to Temescal Valley and I consider this the bridge between Corona and Temescal Valley. Our home is within the boundary for Temescal Valley Elementary; we have sports, we shop, we play in Temescal Valley.

Long commute times for our TV student to get to middle and high school. They aren’t projected to lessen anytime soon with continued construction of new housing in the area.

I would like to see a high school be built in our area. I do not see it being feasible to build a large comprehensive high school due to limited money. What I would like to see is a smaller high school that offers different programs for students that are studying Arts, STEM, Middle College, and a hybrid on-line school. I feel that something this size is very achievable and would help loosen the load of students at the other high schools as well.

I will also work with the district to help push the process along to have Temescal Valley Elementary become a K-8 academy as well.

I feel all of these solutions will help traffic some by having different drop off and pick up times because of the before and after school care, parents will not all be dropping off and picking up at the same time. As well as not having to drive your children across town to middle school.

LARISSA ADRIAN CNUSD CANDIDATE

THE ADRIAN FAMILY

THE ADRIAN FAMILY

adrianName: Larissa N. Adrian

Age: 36

Resides: 12-year resident of Temescal Valley

Family: Husband — Matt (police officer); son Chris, 20; daughter Aliyah, 16; daughter Keira, 10; daughter Madison, 9; daughter Isabell, almost 7

Occupation: Before I chose to become a full-time Mom, I was the Business Risk Manager for Ameriquest, overseeing the Audits, Customer Complaints and Fraud Investigation departments. I loved the challenge that type of work provided me; however, having four daughters has definitely upped my negotiating skills!

Education: High school; some college

Community Involvement:

  • Sycamore Creek Homeowners Association board member and a member of the Design Review and Social committees
  • Todd Academy PTA parliamentarian and member of Todd’s School Site Council
  • We Are Temescal Valley citizens’ group, chairman of the Education Committee and a member of the Development Committee
  • My kids’ “volunteer” chauffeur to and from games and practices for Horsethief Canyon Soccer Association, Corona Girls Softball Association, Mavericks Volleyball Club, CHAWP Water Polo Club 

Learn More About Me: Facebook: ADRIAN4CNUSD; Email: adrian4cnusd@gmail.com

Why are you seeking election?
I have been a Temescal Valley resident since 2004 and have seen how severely the community has been underrepresented by CNUSD. Watching my five children attend district schools, it has become evident that issues regarding traffic, class sizes, school boundaries and services have been pushed off year after year. I have endeavored to find out why we are not being given the same considerations as our neighboring areas. I am running for election to address concerns like these and other relevant issues such as “When and where will our high school be built?”

What are the predominant issues facing the Corona-Norco Unified School District and how would you address them?
One of the district’s most pressing issues is the lack of schools for middle and high school students. CNUSD has taken a “Wait and See” approach that has left parents and students stuck in traffic and, at times, driving over an hour to get to assigned high schools, often arriving late due to freeway and surface road gridlock. CNUSD must take a stronger position on community growth and development. Currently, the board waits to hear from the community before issues are addressed. I believe this is backwards. There needs to be a proactive approach to this situation and the community needs to know there is transparency across the district on how issues are handled. I will continue to attend county and city council meetings to learn firsthand about new development proposals to ensure that CNUSD has the information it needs to plan for and manage the educational needs of current and future students. 

Our district is the eighth largest in California. Another problem facing such a large district is student achievement. Our students need a balanced curriculum. We need to provide quality educational opportunities for students that are not only college-bound, but for those who might prefer vocational training or preparation for a technology career. We should be offering advanced learning opportunities at every school and at every grade level. 

Using my background in audit and fraud investigations, I believe this can be accomplished by closely monitoring the expenditures of the school bond funds to assure they are spent on projects as promised in a fiscally responsible manner. I would make sure we maximize our tax dollars by developing partnerships with businesses, government and educational entities to avoid a duplication of services. 

What are the predominant school issues facing Temescal Valley and how would you address them?
If I’m elected to the board, Temescal Valley will finally have a voice in addressing issues that impact our community now and in the future. For well over a year, I am the only candidate that has consistently attended board meetings, asking questions and speaking out on issues that affect us. I have a vested interest in my community and my kids’ future and have identified several issues that need to be corrected.

Our high schools and middle schools are at capacity and this is affecting the education our children receive. If a new high school was built in Temescal Valley, it would provide a more even distribution of students within the district, giving all students a better education based on a lower population within our schools.

Additionally, traffic is a major stress factor in many families’ lives and the overall well-being of our community. It will not get better anytime soon and regardless of the district providing transportation for our students, it does not change the commute time or alleviate traffic.

Students who pay for district transportation also arrive late to school, but kids who are driven by parents and arrive late, or at the same time as a late bus, receive a detention. We need a consistent means to handle this situation regardless of how our students are transported to school. 

Temescal Valley continues to grow and with the possible influx of thousands of more homes and apartments, and the lack of planning for our students, this will only make life more stressful and hectic for our community. I will make our voice heard and work diligently to ensure we are not forgotten and are provided with the best possible solutions as are other families and students throughout the Corona-Norco Unified School District.