In the Mexican culture we say, “No hay mal que por bien no venga.” This roughly corresponds to the English saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” And surely that is the hope of all concerned when it comes to the issue of the conflicts and changes recently played out at the school district and board.
The sudden resignation of Superintendent Louann Carlomagno, accusations, and a formal complaint filed against new board member John Kelly are among the several situations that the community has found itself involved with, has taken part in and has witnessed.
Interestingly, an English saying speaks of calm before the storm. But in Spanish we say “Después de la tormenta llega la calma” – After the storm comes the calm. And that seems appropriate now. We have someone new, interim, in the role of superintendent, Chuck Young. A person with all the qualifications and more to “fix” the imperfections, the direction and the stability of a district in “crisis.”
Welcome, Dr. Young.
I am one among many people who for years have been seeking a place where we could offer our opinion about education.
I am one among so many other parents who would like to be present at the table and actively participate in the discussions about the manner in which we educate our children.
I am one of the Latinos whose children make up more than 50 percent of the students in Sonoma Valley.
I am one of the many parents whose children are in special education.
I am one among so many parents who wake up every day with the dream that we are part of the Sonoma community and of this great country.
I am one among the many immigrants who daily contribute to our community, enriching it.
I am one among many others who would like to help you accomplish your job.
“Things happen for a reason,” and I would like to think that all these changes are part of a necessary process. Change is difficult but history has shown us time and time again that it is necessary. The difference lies in how it is realized and who is guiding it.
The reality is that our educational system has been functioning in a way that left out many of the students who are in special education, who are from minorities, and who are English learners. It is also true that the present system left a lot to be desired with regard to communication, and inclusion of all parents and community. There is also considerable concern about transparency.
I am feeling optimistic about this new superintendent at the helm. Optimistic that he will take note, and will invite to the table all those involved. Optimistic that together we can make the necessary changes to address immediate concerns, and create a better reality for the new and future generations.
–Translated by Anna Pier