School District: LAUSD – District 6

Position Seeking: Board Member

Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.

In all eras of my education experience with LAUSD art played a major role in how I socialized with my peers. As a child who had rickets, I was very insecure and always felt like a stranger and as if nobody liked me. However, in elementary when I joined the floklorico team and I made a ton of friends I finally began to feel like a regular child because when we were dancing we were all the same. Then in middle school the best time of my pre-teen years were in chorus because I love to sing but was always shy to mention it. However, being around students who also enjoyed singing always made me feel very happy.

Question 2: How can arts education support student outcomes such as English language development, reducing the achievement gap, and preparing youth for college and/or meaningful careers?

I think we forget the most important thing students need in order for students to succeed in school is they need to love being on campus. Thus, if we keep up the culture of cutting the arts we will continue to lose our enrollment. Also, we forget that universities do not just look for students who have good grades; the college application also wants to know if students are involved with extracurricular activities. Meaning that we need to encourage our students to be in band, art clubs and dance, it’s the stories and personal experiences from being involved in those programs that give then the story to tell for applications.

Question 3: What do you think the role of the School Board should be in ensuring that students have continued access to a broad range of study subjects, including the arts (broadly defined)?

As much as I would love to bring back full time teachers on every single campus for the arts I recognize that we might not be able to do that immediately given that arts were cut drastically in the last recession. However, I think that board members can do a better job at being creative about how we get resources that keep the imagination and arts alive on campuses. For example, I plan to be a board member that seeks grants for my specific schools, and I plan to work with the neighborhood councils to support mural projects in my community.

Question 4: Do you see a role for arts education in the development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs)? If so, how would you hope to use arts education to advance the eight priority areas identified in the LCAP template?

All of the eight priorities of the LCAP can be addressed with the arts, especially with pupil engagement, pupil outcomes, school climate, multiple classes, parent involvement, and pupil achievement. I would hope that we can always incorporate the arts to all curriculum and programming because the most important thing that the arts does is make youth love being at school, and if they are not at school, we don’t have a student body to learn.