Teresa Merino Ph.D.

District: El Rancho USD*
Position Seeking: Governing Board Member

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

While growing up in a small, dusty town in Mexico, where public libraries were non existent, I learn to appreciate music, song and dance. As a young child I have recollections of cool, summer evenings sitting outside in the patio listening to friends and relatives play the guitar and sing a variety of songs while we sang or danced along to the tunes and ballads.
These rich experiences helped developed not only my vocabulary but also my love of music and dance and set the stage for what I enjoy today, from the classical to the contemporary.

Question 2: What kind of creative solutions would you suggest to support student outcomes such as English language development, closing the achievement gap, and preparation for college and/or meaningful careers?

The performing arts, music, dance, drama, media, and art key play a key role in the in the development of language overall. Children have many learning modalities and from persona; experience I can say that art contributes to a child’s creativity and expression. Learning to read through the arts is a strategy that I em[ployed frequently while working as as a teacher in elementary grades. When children master the ability of expression they also master the ability to listen, read and write.

Question 3: What do you think should be the role of the School Board in ensuring that students have access to a broad range of study?

School Boards have a responsibility to provide a variety of academic experiences to all students in all disciplines. First and foremost is following the mandated guidelines from the Common Core Standards and at the same time provide enrichment classes and opportunities to unlock students’ creativity and analytical skills.

Question 4: In light of the Local Control Funding Formula and development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), what are your creative solutions for achieving goals in the eight priority areas?

To meet the mandates of LCAP school districts must involve all stakeholders, the school board, the administration, staff, parents, the bargaining unions and students to provide input and set priorities to develop a strategic plan that is well understood and that it provides direction that aligns to current student needs. With the LCAP school districts develop and set the budget and seek opportunities to apply for grants and funding that will support the arts.