Terry L. Ragins
District: Torrance Unified
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.
Always loved art and choral singing throughout school…was singled out for solos and trio work with elementary school choir I could sing Received a guitar for a gift from my parents and taught myself to play a little but mostly to accompany my own singing of my favorite songs Pursued drama in high school musicals mostly with Aunt Eller in Oklahoma being my penultimate role I have since been enthralled with musical stage productions introducing my own two sons to the wonders of live stage…performance AND audience appreciation on Broadway and London West End are always on tap when visiting
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?
Creative endeavors are an avenue for students to develop a sense of self confidence affirm their own power to create beauty and be recognized for it Especially drama with many nonverbal aspects is a great place for ELD students to jump in and then progress to integrate MEANINGFUL language and dialogue in performance We have preserved a Fine Arts requirement for High School graduation that I support and will try to preserve this Taught Adventures in Art in Middle Schools that promotes knowledge of artists and gives students the opportunity to explore various artistic techniques and media and experiences
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 Board’s job IS to set policy and direction for the school district. Access to a broad range of study has been an emphasis of mine…we have preserved our band and choral music offerings as we also increased AP course offerings, and our drastically bumped up STEM offerings. Several schools now offer engineering pathways through grant funded Project Lead The Way. I also serve as a Board member for Southern California Regional Occupational Center a resource for Career and Technical Educational classes and experiences in an amazingly broad range…including career preparation and certification in building and health related/personal care trades.
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?
WE are in a process of rebuilding student programs after our staffing and financial resources were decimated in the Great Depression Rather than wholesale resumption of all previous programs we are starting from scratch Each individual program is being evaluated for its efficacy and efficiency as we consider the costs and best mechanisms for providing services to our students that apply to all areas This is a highly collaborative process involving students staff administration and community members WE are currently seeking input from our community about priority expenditures to utilize our one-time mandate reimbursement that came to schools this year.