MEET THE CANDIDATES: Placer County Office of Education Board of Trustees | SierraSun.com

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Placer County Office of Education Board of Trustees

Sierra Sun staff

In advance of the November general election, the Sierra Sun reached out to area candidates, asking each why they're running for office, what's the biggest challenge facing their district and how they would address it.

The following are responses from two candidates who seek one seat on the Placer County Office of Education Board of Trustees, as Area 4 trustee who represents the North Tahoe and Truckee area.

Anthony W. Palmer

Age: 46

Hometown: Loomis, CA

Occupation: Teacher

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Website: https://gamingandeducationengagementinlearning.com/about/

Why are you running for office?

I am running for office to advance evidence-based instruction, Higher Order Thinking Skills, citizenship, science, technology, engineering, art and math. I also want to close the achievement gap and help our students to successfully compete in the global information economy.

What is the most important issue your district faces and how would you address it?

The most important issues facing placer county are how best to prepare our students to compete globally in the information economy, and to be informed and engaged citizens. I will address these issues by emphasizing evidence based instruction which helps our students to develop Higher Order Thinking Skills. I started teaching middle school students in 1998. Since then, I have also taught high school and college students.

In 2016, I earned my doctorate in educational leadership with a concentration in teaching and learning. A significant focus of my doctorate was helping students to develop these crucial skills. I have twice presented my research at the California Educational Research Association. I know the importance of a rigorous curriculum and I have the skills to analyze and evaluate curriculum and instruction to help our students thrive in the 21st century.

E. Ken Tokutomi

Age: 68

Hometown: Auburn

Occupation: Retired Certified Public Accountant

Website: http://www.kentokutomi.com

Why are you running for office?

My business experience, as a CPA, when reviewing our budgets give me a business view of our education finances. The Board position includes the oversight of a $92 million budget. Due to the complexity of California education funding, the public needs qualified business people to oversee spending and to insure that our public dollars are spent wisely. During my terms in office, we have maintained the funding of Career Technical Education especially during our education funding crisis. I believe that we need to emphasis our trades as we need a well trained work force to maintain continued economic growth.

What is the most important issue your district faces and how would you address it?

Due to the changes in education funding that the State instituted as they have created the new LCAP system. This new formula for funding has left the County Boards of Education with flat funding for many years. Our office needs to ensure that we keep expenses under control as revenues are going to be limited.

We need to continue to oversee local school district budgets and insure their fiscal solvency. We need to do the necessary training to maintain our excellent education system in the State as our county schools rank second in English Language Arts and third in math. We need to continue to provide district personnel with training in school safety, identifying at risk kid, intercede when mental health issue arise, provide local school board training in the dashboard system, and other new trends that the education community, State or Federal government promotes.