Tiffany Grimsley, School Board Candidate

on January 31, 2018

Tiffany Grimsley has been thinking about running for a West Contra Costa school board seat for about two years. She lives in Hercules now, but grew up in El Cerrito, graduating high school there.

Two of her three children have attended West Contra Costa Unified School District schools—her middle child is a recent graduate of Hercules High School and her youngest is a sixth-grader at Hercules Middle School. For Grimsley, 49, education is important. She works for the Bay Area-based nonprofit DreamCatchers Empowerment Network to provide help for people facing barriers to employment, like those with disabilities or a history of incarceration. Before that, Grimsley held positions at the University of California, Berkeley, working in admissions and as a financial aid officer.

But it was really her time spent as a parent at her youngest son’s elementary school, Lupine Hills, both as a volunteer and as a member on the school site committee, that pushed her to run for the school board.

“In Hercules, we have three elementary schools that are performing at three completely different levels,” she said. “Kids aren’t learning at the same pace. The curriculum is not being facilitated in the same way, and it seems there’s a lack of structure, a lack of consistency and a lack of communication with parents and concerned citizens.”

If elected, she aims to improve that level of communication by increasing access to school board-level conversations, so working parents will have a say in their children’s education. She would like to see more school board members actively visiting campuses, and would like to open up forum opportunities for parents to attend at more convenient hours, she said.

“There are a lot of working parents in our district — many who are working more than one job to keep a roof on their head and food on the table,” she said. “It’s not an efficient system. … I want to change the way we communicate with our community.”

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