Madeline Kronenberg, School Board Candidate
on October 31, 2018
Madeline Kronenberg has gathered a wealth of experience while serving three terms on the West Contra Costa Unified School Board. A former teacher, she is currently running for a fourth term.
Kronenberg, 71, a resident of El Cerrito, wants voters to return her to the board to work toward eliminating the achievement gap—the difference in academic scores among subgroups of students. She also said she would improve teacher retention and collaboration.
She says she learned the value of collaboration from her years teaching, during which she won the Adult Education State Excellence in Teaching Award, which honored her dedication to the craft.
“It showed me how much teaching is a collaborative exercise,” Kronenberg said. “You become better when you work together.”
Kronenberg says she has helped the district improve academic achievement and bridge the digital divide by prioritizing technology education. She served as co-chairperson for the board’s successful, though contentious, school construction program to renovate decrepit district schools.
In addition to her work on the board and teaching, Kronenberg has also been an involved parent and a member of many district organizations and committees. These include the technology and facilities committees, among others.
Kronenberg first broke into the education field unconventionally. She once worked as a legal secretary and a trainer in law firms. Then, while she was looking to make a life change, a teaching job opened up at the Adult School in Hayward that specializes in vocational training.
Kronenberg went on to teach adults for 30 years. During those years, she got to know her students at a deeper level by enrolling her own children at the preschool based at the same adult school where she taught. Many of her students also had enrolled their children at that preschool.
Kronenberg became more seriously involved in leadership after the then-Richmond Unified School District—now the West Contra Costa Unified School District—filed for bankruptcy in April of 1991. The cost-saving measures adopted as a result included cutting salaries nine percent.
“That created a huge set of emotions, of loss, of anger among the teaching staff here,” she recalled.
She ran for the board in 2006 after serving as the co-chairperson of a measure the previous year to raise $400 million to continue renovations of district schools.
Kronenberg retired from teaching in 2010, one term into her school board career.
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