Oct 6 2018

OPINION: Reasons for Julie Caskey on School Board

Support for transparency and inclusiveness of our school planning and decision-making process.

I’m writing in support of Julie Caskey’s campaign to serve on our Piedmont School Board. I hope your readers can benefit from this perspective.

My wife and I moved to Piedmont from nearby Oakland a few years ago, soon after our first baby was born. Frankly, we were ambivalent. We had heard a lot about Piedmont: some good, some bad, but always with conviction.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long after moving in for most of our concerns to disappear. Our neighbors have been amazing – welcoming, considerate, and clearly proud of the community they have built. And who can complain about a fire department that will not only respond in minutes, but is also willing to host a 3-year old birthday party?

That said, there is one question that remains for us and the other new parents we meet – will the schools be a good fit for our kids? We each have our own apprehensions about our children’s education, especially in the context of public schooling. For some, the issue is academic rigor. For others: diversity and inclusion. And of course, there’s nowhere near enough math. Or art. Or sports. Or…

You get the point.

But there’s one concern all new Piedmont parent all share: that our concerns won’t be heard. This is especially true for those of us who don’t have the benefit of familiarity with the system, the process, or the individuals managing Piedmont’s schools.

I’m voting for Julie Caskey for the Piedmont School Board because one of her biggest priorities is improving the transparency and inclusiveness of our school planning and decision-making process. No matter who we are, each of us wants to know that our issues and concerns are being heard, and to at least understand how our input fits into the process, even if we can’t always get the result we want.

Julie is one of those great neighbors that I’ve gotten to know since moving to Piedmont. She has spent her whole life advocating for those in her community, professionally as a civil rights and child advocacy lawyer, and personally as a volunteer, most recently focused on our children and schools here in Piedmont. Even more important: she has four wonderful children, including one in elementary school, so she still remembers what it’s like to be new parent and freaked out about just about everything, but especially our kids’ education. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Julie’s candidacy for the School Board.


Ilan Gur, Piedmont Resident

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