Human resources director Jennifer Carter is one of two candidates for the Turlock Unified School District's Area 6 Trustee seat. She will face community volunteer Joe Lewis in the Nov. 5 election.
The following information was submitted to TurlockCityNews.com by Carter.
How long have you lived in Turlock, and what is your age and occupation?
I have lived in Turlock for 35 years and I am 41 years old. I am currently the Director of Administrative Services for a Special District in Merced. I have 20+ years of management experience with a focus in Human Resources, Risk Management and Information Technology.
Do you have children in the TUSD, or have you in the past?
I am a graduate of Turlock schools and attended Crowell Elementary, Osborn Elementary, Brown Elementary, Turlock Junior High and graduated from Turlock High School. I have two daughters who attended their entire K-12 school lives in the Turlock Unified School District. Both girls attended Brown Elementary, Turlock Junior High School and Pitman High School. My oldest, Taylor, graduated in 2012 and is a current student at San Diego State University. Morgan is a current senior at Pitman High School and has been accepted at the Art Institute San Francisco in the fall of 2014.
Why are you running for the TUSD Board of Trustees?
I decided to run for the TUSD Board of Trustees because I believe I can bring a unique set of skills to the Board. I have been actively involved in many student and business organizations over the years, including fiscal and budgetary oversight, employee development, strategic planning, employee/student/member relations and leadership. The Turlock school system was very good for me and my family and has afforded us great opportunities and options. It is my turn to give back to the community and my management experience would make me an ideal candidate to look at all sides of an issue before making the best decision for the District while keeping an eye on long-term, strategic District planning.
What grade would you give TUSD for providing an overall quality education?
If not an A+, what do you feel can be done to help TUSD be the best that it can be?
My daughters and I were afforded a diverse and beneficial education that prepared us for our futures and the School District has dedicated and qualified staff. However, as with any entity or business there are always areas to improve. I do believe we need to explore additional partnerships to have more technical and alternative career opportunities for students and assist students in determining the best path for them, whether it be traditional college, trade/technical training, military, online schooling, etc. We need to continue to work on our test scores and drop-out rates, both of which have continued to improve over the years.
In your opinion, what are the biggest issue(s) facing TUSD?
The implementation of the Common Core Standards. As with any new venture, planning and implementation are the keys to success. We must ensure we have the infrastructure, training and technology in place as we roll the standards out across the district. This will require significant staff development, communication and leadership. With my background in Human Resources/Information Technology and experience in process implementation and change management, I feel I would have a unique vision as we implement the Common Core Standards. In addition, we have a responsibility to ensure the fiscal health of the District and all of our decisions must look at this issue prior to making decisions. Oversight of the budget will become more critical as the state moves to Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). This formula is still being developed at the state level, but the new funding model will put more money in the schools with the greatest need and will allow the district to determine the best use for these funds.