By Janis Mork
October 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) - Elana Levens-Craig is running against Gabriel Pina and Robin Fries for the Santee School Board Seat 4. ECM has contacted all candidates; below is Levens-Craig's interview with ECM.
Levens-Craig says she “is focusing on the ABC’s: Academics (innovate and improve classrooms), Budget (protect students’ education from financial cuts), and Communication (involve the community with their schools).”
Asked about her values, she said she wants to make Santee competitive with neighboring districts by providing students with an exceptional education and new, innovative programs. In addition, she said, “I believe that children deserve a safe place to learn and the district must continue to combat bullying on campus on and on-line.” She also believes that “Schools deserve school sites that are modern environmentally-friendly, up-to-date technologically and inviting to parents and students.” In addition, she wants to “create stronger partnerships between the schools and local businesses. I believe that parents and community members play a crucial role in quality schools.”
She is running “in order to give back to my community, as a watchdog, for taxpayer money, and because I feel that I offer a unique perspective as compared to my opponents because I am not just a parent, community member, and business owner, but also a former teacher in the district.”
According to her website, Levens-Craig believes, “My presence has given me a first hand understanding of what students need. I will make attracting and retaining exceptional teachers a priority, while providing innovative technology and modern facilities for our students.”
She believes she is qualified because she has been a former teacher in the Santee School District and other districts (both general and special education), has teaching credentials and a Master’s degree in education with emphasis in severely handicapped education from San Diego State, and has been a board member of the Santee School District Foundation and California State PTA. She was former chairperson of the CBOC (Citizens Bond Oversight Committee) for GUHSD Prop H/U, former school site council member and district committee member, former PTSA president at Cajon Park and Santana and council president for Tierra Del Sol Council.
She moved to Santee when she first met her husband Scott in 1999. She has two children, 20 year old Kristie and 18 year old Daniel, who are both in college. In March 2004, she and her husband opened their own small business, called “Packaging Solutions for Today’s Industry Inc.”, where she still handles the financial aspect of business.
She has taught at Cajon Park, where both of her children attended, and at Santana High, where she did student teaching.
For her budget priorities, she believes that “spending must be targeted to classrooms and the students.” On her website, she states, “As a small business owner and Chamber of Commerce member, I am committed to fiscal accountability and transparency. I will provide critical oversight of the Santee School District spending.”
Asked about Props 30 and 38, she stated, “There is a funding crisis in education," but added that she does not support the propositions.
She is endorsed by current Santee School District Board president, Dan Bartholomew; former superintendent of Santee School District, Dr. Lis Johnson; Mayor of Santee, Randy Voepel; Vice Mayor of Santee, Rob McNelis; Santee City Councilman, John Minto; Senator Joel Anderson; owner of Al’s Sport Shop, Al Treadwell; as well as Jim Montague, Elaine Murphy, and Dee Smickle from local mobile home parks.
View a map of the district: http://www.santeesd.net/Page/616.
For more information, visit: http://www.elana4schoolboard.com or her Facebook page for more up-to-date information: http://www.facebook.com/ElanaForSanteeSchoolBoard2012.