Edward Booth

Morcom Amphitheater of Roses

At the precipice of spring, before the proper time of year, only a few roses bloom at the Morcom Amphitheater of Roses, though pruned rose bushes—bare, spiky, grey, brown, some a sunny red-green—line the area profusely, thorns prominently on display. It’s a clear, crisp, cloudless day: The sun shines upon an ovular green reflecting pool…

West Contra Costa school board will soon release its trustee-area map after a year of controversy

The journey toward the new voting system in the school district began in 2002, when the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 was enacted, making it easier for minority groups to prove at-large elections dilute their vote. Though most California elections have historically been held at-large, the voting rights act has caused a surge of lawsuits in recent years, either threatened or real, prompting more than 100 school districts and cities to shift to trustee-area elections.

Charter renewed amid school board shift

The charter of Benito Juarez Elementary was renewed by default last Wednesday because of a strange scenario in which incoming board members were unable to vote and one longstanding school board member stepped away from the dais, leaving the decision without enough votes to legally stand. California charter schools must have their charter reapproved every…

School board approves trustee-area map

The final map will divide the district into five separate voting areas, each of which will elect one board member in future elections. This area-based system will replace the current at-large elections where school board winners are determined by a district-wide popular vote.

Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis, School Board Candidate

Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis, a teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, is running for the school board on a platform of improving teacher retention, the school climate and student academic and learning outcomes. Hernández-Jarvis, 27, once an undocumented immigrant, also considers herself a strong advocate for immigrant rights. “It’s not about security for me;…

Valerie Cuevas, School Board Candidate

Valerie Cuevas comes from humble beginnings. As a child of a working-class family, beset by problems that put her at risk of academic failure, Cuevas attached to her family’s belief in the transformative power of education. “My family believed in the innate ability and potential of all the kids to succeed, and to succeed at…

Elizabeth Block, School Board Candidate

Elizabeth Block has served as public education principal, school psychologist and special education administrator over the course of a 35-year career. She’s currently an incumbent member of the West Contra Costa Unified School Board, running for a second term. “I consider myself to be the candidate with experience that matters because I’ve had experience at…

Consuelo Lara, School Board Candidate

Consuelo Lara found structure and safety in attending school as a child. Then she became a teacher and taught for 38 years, much of the time in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. She is now running for a seat on the school board. Lara, of San Pablo, seeks to encourage dual language literacy,…

Madeline Kronenberg, School Board Candidate

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…

Alleged violation sets date for charter revocation hearing

The school board initiated a charter revocation process for John Henry High School last week. Board President Valerie Cuevas advocated for the revocation after the alleged mandatory reporting violations were brought to the attention of the board during public comment.