The Talon Endorses Two Newcomers, One Incumbent as School Board Elections Approach

The MVLA School Board election will take place on Tuesday, November 4. Working with community and faculty input, the school board sets policies regarding educational programs, school facilities and learning conditions, in addition to managing the district’s budget. Of the seven candidates, The Talon endorses Dana Bunnett, Joe Mitchner and Fiona Walter for the three open seats.

Dana Bunnett:

As a mother of a Los Altos High School student, Dana Bunnett has a strong tie to the district. However, her primary qualification for a seat on the MVLA School Board is her dedication to working with underrepresented and low-income students. If elected to the school board, she plans to counteract the opportunity gap in the district by expanding programs such as AVID that provide opportunities to underserved students. Bunnett’s work as the director of Kids in Common, a nonprofit children’s advocacy group that aims to create safe learning environments for students, proves her dedication to the cause.

The board needs a passionate voice to drive greater diversity in high level courses and to push students of all backgrounds to achieve success in both Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools. Bunnett’s dedication and background proves she has the experience needed to be that voice.

Joe Mitchner:

Joe Mitchner’s demonstrated abilities during his tenure on the MVLA Board set him apart from many of his fellow candidates. As a Board member since 2007, he has experience working with many projects, including the ongoing preparation for Common Core and analysis of CST testing data, which the district will continue to work on throughout the upcoming term.

In addition to building on past board initiatives, Mitchner sees a need for more one-on-one communication with faculty throughout the district and seeks to increase Latino parent involvement in the district by providing additional resources to Spanish-speaking families. If elected to the school board, Mitchner would bring both the experience and dedication that is needed for the district to continue moving in a positive direction.

Fiona Walter:

Having served on the Mountain View Whisman Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2012, Fiona Walter has the school board experience that would make her time on the MVLA School Board effective. Her desire to join the MVLA School Board stems from her determination to bring larger parent involvement to the board. A Mountain View High School parent, Walter believes that keeping parents more informed on board initiatives would bring the district together and benefit students.

Walter also sees a need for a broader set of class offerings including middle-of-the-road classes with a level of difficulty between that of AP classes and that of regular classes. In addition, she hopes to increase the number of students who are given the opportunity to participate in AVID and similar programs.

As the board continues implementing Common Core, a critical eye will be key for beneficial results. Walter has a strong understanding of Common Core’s purpose and its limitations. Walter’s multi-faceted ideas for district improvement make her a strong candidate for the MVLA School Board.