Tuesday night, Dec. 9 featured the swearing in of one new Escalon Unified School District board trustee – Kate Powell – and incumbent John Largent, who was returned to office by voters in November. The Times previously featured Largent in a candidate profile, as he faced competition for his post. Powell, in her first try for the board, ran unopposed and recently participated in a ‘Question and Answer’ session with The Times to introduce herself to the community.
Q: How long have you lived in the school district?
A: I have lived in the Escalon School District 11 years. I graduated from Maxwell high school in Colusa County in 2000. I attended Modesto Junior College, and majored in animal science for two years then changed my direction and went into early childhood development. After working in early childhood development I decided to go back to school and get a degree in dental assisting. In between all of my schooling I met my husband Everett Powell who was born and raised in Escalon and I moved to Escalon to begin our lives.
Why did you seek the school board seat?
I decided to seek the District 2 school board seat after being asked by several community members. After much deliberation and a long conversation with my husband, I figured now is the time to get involved on a deeper level. I believe that Escalon is a strong school district, however I feel like there is also room for improvement. I care about our district not only for my children, but because I want to make sure that all children in this district receive a proper education, and gain the skills to be highly successful in life.
Have you ever run for/held an office like this before?
I have never held a position on a School Board, however I am involved at my children’s school. I am the current President of the Parent Teacher Club at Van Allen. I will be finishing up my two-year term at the end of this school year. My highest priority is to support my children in their journey as children. I only have a short period of their life to make a positive impact and guide them in the right direction. That’s why I have chosen to be active in the PTC along with volunteering in their classrooms.
What are the main issues you feel face the district?
I feel like the district will always be facing tough issues. Currently there is a lot of talk about Common Core and our current curriculum adoption. Until I’ve taken my seat on the board I really don’t know all of the issues that we face. However, I believe that as a district we will always be facing tough issues and that is what forces our district to grow and improve.
Do you have any immediate concerns, things you would like to change?
I don’t have any immediate concerns, but I can say that I am not the type of person to sit back and do nothing. If a situation is brought to my attention I will do my research and find answers. I encourage more parents to attend school board meetings and give input. Nothing is ever going to change if parents don’t get involved. I’m a true believer in being proactive instead of reactive.
Anything else you would like to add?
I look forward to my next four years as a school board member. I don’t believe in making a promise that I can’t keep. However I can promise that I will vote with my heart and make decisions that I can sleep with at night.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” –Dr. Seuss