In the last week, the Poway Unified School District’s Board of Education lost their president, Todd Gutschow, and one of the members, Marc Davis, who have not been voted for to serve again.
Their spots will be filled by Kimberly Beatty, who is the new president, Michelle Ratcliff, who is the vice-president and Andrew Patapow, who is the new secretary. They all work together along with other members to help support our districts, schools, and students.
The purpose of the board is to make decisions on what we are going to do as a school district.
“The Board of Education is responsible for hiring and evaluating the superintendent, working with the superintendent to set goals for the district, set policy for the district, and act as a connection between the community at large and the district,” Gutschow said.
The members are focused on these aspects and want to help our district thrive.
“My number one focus is always student academic achievement, safety, and personal growth and development,” Davis said. “This takes money. So handling the budgets are a close second.”
Both men have had a good time on the board, especially because of the people that they work with.
“I enjoyed working with all of the great teachers, support staff, and leadership of the district,” Gutschow said. “There are so many caring and dedicated people that work for our district. I also enjoyed visiting school sites and seeing our students learning.”
Davis also cherished the community that he worked with during his time on the board.
“[I love] working with wonderful, committed adults and students,” Davis said. “Schools are magical places. I’ve met some of the best people in the world during these last four years. I’ll miss them greatly.”
Due to the outcome of the votes, Gutschow and Davis will no longer be able to enjoy being apart of the board.
“Membership on the Board of Education is an elected position,” Gutschow said. “[We were] not re-elected in the recent Nov. 4. election. Therefore, [our] term on the board end[ed and] the newly elected board members [were] sworn into office on Monday, Dec. 8.”
In addition to the loss of these men, the board has even more changes. They are welcoming three new members.
“The three newly elected board members are Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff, T.J. Zane, and Charles Sellers,” Gutschow said.
The three of them all have their ideas on what the school board needs, and explained their initiatives on their websites.
“Join me today to bring more accountability, communication, and transparency to our school district,” O’Connor-Ratcliff said. “Let’s do it for our kids.”
Sellers has a similar idea to hers on his website. He explains that people need to address the responsibilities of the district.
“We need to look at the FACTs,” Sellers’ website said, “Fiscal responsibility, accountability, communication, and transparency.”
Zane’s website opens up with a little passage about himself and what he believes in contrast to the other two.
“I am committed to the personal growth and academic progress of my three children – and your children,” Zane said. “I attended public schools and graduated from an Ivy League university – I believe in public education, and I believe in Poway Unified schools.”
Now, our district will be lead by these new members along with a few others. All of the representatives are looking forward to helping all of the students, teachers, and parents to make PUSD grow even further.