What You Get If You Elect Me

I’m running for one of five seats on the Governing Board of La Cañada Unified School District. If elected I would be serving with four other members with various levels of experience and different professional and personal backgrounds. A single board member can make a difference, but can change the system only by building consensus among his colleagues. I’m not running to revolutionize LCUSD, but to make it better: more empathic, more engaging for each student, and better equipping our students to achieve their highest goals.

A board member should be independent minded, drawing from their experience and communal knowledge and support. The beauty of diversity is that relevant experience is qualitative, not quantitative, whether it is 4 years or 40 years. Four years of active participation can be more valuable than 40 years of passive observation. I will turn 19 the day before Election Day, but my 13 years of education in LCHS provides ample experience and understanding of how District policy impacts students.

I graduated from La Cañada High School in 2012. I have sat in the classrooms that our governing board influences. I have been the most important person in our education system as a student and now I want to give back as a board member. I was a member of the student newspaper, city youth council and student government. I have served the community’s youth in many capacities and I want to continue serving them.

Who are our community’s youth? They’re my friends from high school. They’re my brother’s friends at PCY and my sister’s friends at LCHS. They’re my cousins and their friends. They’re my family, everyone of them. My heart and my mind are in this. There is an Armenian proverb that says “The mind is in the head, not in the age.” Im young, I’m running for public office.  I didn’t stay quiet. I chose to stand up and make my voice heard.

How could I stay quiet when our education system fails so many students and when we could be doing more for our students?

Interdisciplinary courses will expand students’ ability to see beyond one subject and show them the relevance of their education. It will also make the school day more efficient and productive for all. Interdisciplinary courses are the perfect opportunity to effectively integrate technology into the classroom.

Language immersion courses in elementary school will expose students to different cultures, which is crucial in a globalized world. A language immersion program may even attract La Cañada families who currently send their kids to private schools to return to our public school, thus boosting district wide enrollment.

Televising school board meetings will allow more of our community to be engaged and take part in the discussions about our schools.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will challenge student to think differently. These tests will test students on Common Core State Standards, so its important that we support teachers in the preparation of their new curricula and support students to succeed on these new exams. Providing this support will be one of my top priorities. 

Collaborating with local community colleges will help ease the high school to college transition for students who want to shape their future on their own terms. Pasadena City College recently expanded its satellite campus program, for example, opening a new campus in collaboration with Rosemead Unified. Utilizing the old district office on Palm Drive, this type of opportunity could enrich our district both financially and in the educational opportunities it could bring not only our students but also adults in the community.

Personalizing education and making education more culturally and economic relevant is my goal.

True change starts from the classroom. I want to be a board member because I want to help foster that change. Students and teachers have the tools in their hands to make education an even more powerful tool. As a board member I want to help build the creative and collaborative environment to revive empathy in education.

Why I’m Running

Fellow La Cañadans,

La Cañada is my home. My younger siblings Sarah, Chris and I were born and raised here, and much like your own children, we all attended our local public schools. My parents, Ara and Arpi, came to the United States from Lebanon about 30 years ago and have made La Cañada Flintridge our family’s home for 20 years.

From a very young age, I have cherished my involvement in the athletic, cultural, and civic life of our city. At the age of 15, I got my first opportunity to serve our community through the La Cañada Youth Council, making a difference by engaging in issues relating to young people. Later, I applied the knowledge and experience I gained from the Youth Council to my role as Student Body President at La Cañada High to raise awareness of the concerns that matter most to students.

I decided at an early age that dedicating myself to public service would be an important part of my life. I am committed to our schools, our city, and our youth and will work hard to preserve and enhance the quality of education for all of our students.

Due to my unique experience and strong ties to the youth community, I offer to add a fresh perspective to the school board. I will make every effort to introduce myself and share my vision of a thriving and vibrant School District with as many members of our community as possible. If you share my vision, I would like to ask for your vote in November.

Thank you,

Kevork Kurdoghlian