Aug 21 2018

OPINION: Neighbors Support Julie Caskey for Piedmont School Board

“Piedmont’s School Board must make policy that provides for all of our children because that’s what all of them are: our children.”   Julie Caskey spoke to, and listened to over 40 supporters on Sunday (Aug 19), where she outlined her emphasis for seeking election to the School Board. “We have to give all of our kids a chance to shine, not just our athletes and mathletes.  We want to instill in each of them a love of learning and provide a place for each to find the inspiration that speaks to them.”  Piedmont’s Vice Mayor, Teddy King, spoke in support of Julie’s election to the School Board, saying that Julie would be collaborative with our city’s government, reinforcing King’s own efforts to build more coordination between the City and the School District.

Having worked on innumerable volunteer activities, including the PMS and Beach Parent Clubs, the Appreciating Diversity Committee, the PHS Site Council, and currently, the H1 Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee, Julie is well prepared to take up the formal responsibilities of a School Board member.  If elected, Julie would add to the only two School Board members with children in Piedmont’s schools, and be the only one with children in elementary and middle school.  Bringing a parent’s perspective to the Board, she wants to create more transparency and outreach for new Board initiatives, getting feedback from concerned parents before new policies are put in place.  As she described to her supporters, “Current parents in our schools know their kids, their kid’s teachers, other kids’ teachers, and the staff, those very important people at each school who make it run like it does.”  The School Board needs more of that on-the-ground connection.

Coming from a family of four diverse siblings, and having four distinctive children of her own, Julie wants to ensure that every Piedmont child, whether high ability, or having unusual ways of learning, or is just a regular kid, all of our children should feel welcomed, included, and inspired within our schools.  She wants to make sure that appreciating and accepting diversity of all kinds is unmistakably the guiding charter of our schools.  To Julie, “Students First” means all students.  As a public interest lawyer, Julie Caskey’s professional life has been that of standing up for and defending women, children, and families that have been marginalized, excluded, left behind.

Julie also emphasized her intention to ensure greater oversight, transparency and accountability in the operations of Piedmont’s school system.  Her legal skills of asking questions and investigating, as well as her skills in negotiating and finding mutually acceptable resolution to problems, will provide our School Board with the talent it needs to assure that the Superintendent and administrative staff are responsive to the values of Piedmont’s citizens.  That is the School Board’s job and is the responsibility that Julie is campaigning to carry forward.  As Teddy King mentioned, “Julie is not afraid to stand up for what’s right.”

Abe Boskovitz and Sharon Sagiv, who has served the School District as a former President of PRAISE, the special education support group, hosted the supporters’ gathering because they know Julie and believe in her willingness to take on School Board responsibility.  But before becoming elected, Julie has had to take on a different job, that of a candidate running for the office.  She spends hours, days, and weeks knocking on doors, offering to discuss School Board issues with neighbors, and gathering acquaintances to help her with house parties, writing letters, canvassing and contributing money.  It’s not fun, nor is it the work she really wants to do.  But it is the work that is necessary in order to serve our schools in the way that her skills and talents can really make a difference.

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident

Leave a Comment