Ravenswood graduate launches campaign for school board | News | Palo Alto Online |

News


Ravenswood graduate launches campaign for school board

Julian Garcia, Nicole Sbragia to run together on reform slate

In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.

Julian Garcia, a graduate and former employee of the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto, is running for a seat on the school board this fall.

Garcia, 27, is running on a slate with Nicole Sbragia, a district parent and former Ravenswood employee. They are presenting themselves as alternatives to the leadership status quo in Ravenswood, an outgrowth of community opposition to Superintendent Gloria Hernandez-Goff that boiled over in protests and contentious school board meetings this year.

"I decided to run for the school board because I feel like there's a lack of leadership," Garcia told the Weekly.

Garcia was born in Redwood City but has spent most of his life in East Palo Alto. He attended Ravenswood from kindergarten through eighth grade and then Menlo-Atherton and Sequoia high schools. After graduating, he attended Cañada College.

Like Sbragia, Garcia worked as a paraeducator for Ravenswood, supporting special-education students in the classroom, until his position was eliminated last year. He now works as a paraeducator in the Redwood City School District.

If elected, he wants to improve communication between the district, school board and community. The school board feels inaccessible, he said; he'd like to create an office where parents, teachers and students could communicate with board members directly.

Garcia said he was shocked that there was little response from the school board last May when 143 of the district's approximate 184 teachers at the time signed a vote of no confidence in Hernandez-Goff.

He was among the many community members who pressed the school board not to renew the superintendent's contract this spring, citing allegations about financial mismanagement, corruption and retaliation. The board ultimately voted 3-1 to renew Hernandez-Goff's contract.

He believes new leadership is necessary to turn the tide in Ravenswood, which is continuing to lose students to charter schools and other neighboring districts through the Voluntary Transfer Program, or Tinsley program. This, in turn, is negatively impacting the district's bottom line, as Ravenswood relies heavily on state revenue generated by student attendance.

In Garcia's own family, one niece attends school in Belmont, two nephews attend East Palo Alto Charter School and a cousin is considering sending her children to KIPP Excelencia Community Prep, a public charter school in Redwood City.

"As parents they get to make a choice but I feel like if we improve the quality of the education then maybe they would want to stay here," he said.

Three board members' terms are expiring in November: President Ana Pulido and members Charlie Mae Knight and Marcelino Lopez. Lopez told the Weekly he has not decided yet whether he will run for re-election. Pulido and Knight have not returned repeated requests for comment.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

16 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Yes!!!! This is what we want. New leadership. Thank you for putting yourself out there.


10 people like this
Posted by Ravenswood Parent
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2018 at 12:07 am

What a great idea to run on a late. It will send the incumbents a message. Thanks for stepping out in order to improve student's education. Finally we will have a better school district, and hopefully, the first thing to do in the agenda will be to get the sup, her son, and husband, who spends a lot of time at the school district as if he is an employee out of the district. I am wondering if he is also getting pay under the table by the school district.


11 people like this
Posted by Ravenswood Employee
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2018 at 12:39 pm

I’m thankful to Nicole and Julian for running. With their time and dedication our students’ education and future will improve. Yes it is time to clean house which is literately and figurative speaking with rats.


5 people like this
Posted by You Got My Vote
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2018 at 8:25 pm

I will vote for him. We really need people with new ideas at the board, and he will be a great candidate because he went through the system, was am an employee and got to know the real Ravenswood in and out. He knows what is really going on inside the district, not just what Gloria wants us to believe it is. Sorry, Gloria, you will no longer have a paycheck for your husband, son, and granddaughter and for yourself. Enough is enough. Time to show the community and new board members that you are spending the $ in our students, not your family member's salaries, the food bank, maker space, or doing favors to other board members to get their votes. Get to work or leave your place for someone else who really wants to improve our student's educations. I hope Dr. Knight does not run again because she does not leave in this are, but in Lynwood California, and she is often absent at the board meetings. She should be a board member there, not in East Palo Alto. She does have properties here in her name, but she does not live here.


5 people like this
Posted by Facebook employee
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm

First and foremost I would like to say today while on a lunch break at work here at Facebook one of my fellow employees brought to my attention a current article on a person running for school board by the name of Julian Garcia. I was really astonished when reading upon this individuals inspiration for running for this position not only I but a great number of us employees here at Facebook have children that currently attend the school district for which this individual is running for. What struck me the most about Julian Garcia was the thirst for change and to bring the community and the school board together as one, being a young and wise individual he has the advantage for bringing the young and the wise together for a solution to all of the problems that its District and sister cities has had for decades so to speak. Being that it's a Latin/Hispanic/Black community and being Latino himself is more than just a connection it is a dream realized with change. Growing up himself in this community brings forth the knowledge not only to hear the voices of the people in the community but to actually understand them comprehend them and reach out to them. Change Ladies and Gentlemen is not just a word their letters in motion. What is the purpose fellow community if your voice is heard but not felt. How many of us dream big for our children to go to college to become doctors or lawyer's just to wake up to the nightmare of prison,jails,drugs or death in our communities, cemetarys testify to the words I speak at this very moment. I am at the verge of tears at this moment I want all minorities and non minorities to stand up for what is right stand up for what you believe in stand up if you want the dreams of your children to become true stand up and realize tomorrow is a better day stand up and realize that this is possible through Julian Garcia. He has the knowledge he has the ability and the education he has the thirst he has the history in the community and right now Julian Garcia you have the support of me and my co workers here at Facebook. Julian Garcia you inspire me to dream again I am asking of all who read this post to vote Julian Garcia in the school board. I came home today and sat at my dinner table with my husband and kids and shared with them my feelings about an article that I had read regarding Julian Garcia and him running for a position on the school board and realized when my husband and kids told me that if I was inspired so much why not write a comment on this article so I did.! Why not all of you do the same if in all these years nothing has changed. The drop out rate has not changed and if not is higher and jails are still full and over crowded and the schools still suffer from the same cancer that was there from the same people who are on the board and are still there till this day. The misuse of funds the menopolizing of jobs the corruption within the system. We will not fail by voting for Julian Garcia cause even if we fail we fail while daring greatly. We all know that young people bring to the table and come with new ideas new visions new dreams they pump fresh blood into the system. We all know their is a difference between people who pump fresh blood into the system and people who are blood suckers to the system like the ones currently reside on the board. Today I realized and I will go to sleep better tonight knowing that I shared my thoughts with the community about how I felt about this young individual and the fire he has in him to bring change to the very community he grew up in. This is truly a rose that grew from the concrete. Let's show our support for this thriving member of this community. I will summerize this individual with this phrase Julian Garcia is a pillar of his community and of our community and of your community. So don't be shy and vote for this wonderful guy as our next leading school board member and member of the community. Yay Julian you got our family and extended family on your team.


1 person likes this
Posted by Bryan Diaz
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 6:02 pm

I had the honor of working with Julian in the Redwood City School district. As a paraeducator, I noticed that Julian truly care about special education students and everyone around him. He was a really patient and supportive employee. Around the school, kids would always like to talk to him, and he would always take the time to give them good advice. Julian has always talked about how much he cared about his community. He is really dedicated to being change to the Ravenswood School District. I can tell that he wants the best for the students, parents, and teachers. Julian is young, but he is a really wise individual. I do believe that he has the ability to set the vision and goals for the Ravenswood School District.


Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Diaz
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm

I rewrote my comment since I noticed a view errors.

I had the honor of working with Julian in the Redwood City School district. As a paraeducator, I noticed that Julian truly cares about special education students and everyone around him. He was a really patient and supportive employee. Around the school, kids would always like to talk to him, and he would always take the time to give them good advice. Julian has always talked about how much he cared about his community. He is really dedicated to bringing change to the Ravenswood School District. I can tell that he wants the best for the students, parents, and teachers. Julian is young, but he is a really wise individual. I do believe that he has the ability to set the vision and goals for the Ravenswood School District.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 14 comments | 5,208 views

The first few seconds after awakening; before I remember the virus
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,906 views

Can you stay healthy without making more trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 4 comments | 2,308 views

How COVID-19 Affects Communities
By Jessica Zang | 19 comments | 2,129 views

Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 2,095 views

 

DEADLINE EXTENDED

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details