Three Ravenswood City School District governing board candidates are running as a slate called "Ready Set Ravenswood" this fall.
Current trustees Mele Latu and Tamara Sobomehin are joining former candidate Laura Nuñez as a slate in the upcoming Nov. 8 election, according to a campaign committee filing from Aug. 12. The trio is endorsed by the Ravenswood Teachers Association, San Mateo County Democrats, the San Mateo County Central Labor Council and the San Mateo County Latinx Democratic Club and running to bring their shared experience in the community to the board, according to their website. There are three open spots on the board this fall.
"I believe we are three people that deeply care about the young people of our community and the education they deserve," said Latu in a statement. "I believe we are three people that have different experiences and skill sets that would continue to push for a better Ravenswood."
They face off against newcomer Manuel López, an aerospace engineer who's lived in East Palo Alto for nine years and has become concerned that public school options in the area are not very competitive, according to his website.
The slate's treasurer was Carolyn Bowsher, board chair of the Ravenswood Education Foundation, but is now Nuñez, according to the slate.
Nuñez, an East Palo Alto Academy High School teacher, previously ran on the "Recharge Ravenswood" reform slate with Sobomehin in 2018. The pair aimed to convey their "goal to inspire and facilitate renewed energy around the participants and policies of the Ravenswood district" while also acknowledging the ongoing, "often unseen" work of teachers and staff. Nuñez, who grew up in East Palo Alto, lost by a small margin when she ran in 2018.
She is an alumna of the Ravenswood City School District, Eastside College Preparatory School and Stanford University.
Latu was appointed to the board two years ago.
Longtime trustee Ana Maria Pulido is not seeking reelection.
About the fourth candidate
López was raised in Bogotá, Colombia. He moved to the Bay Area to study at Stanford University, where he earned master's and doctoral degrees in the aeronautics and astronautics department. He has a 2-year-old child.
"While I could buy property elsewhere or send my child to a private school, I'd like to leverage my experience with high academic achievement to push the bounds of the possible for children in East Palo Alto," he said on his website.
In an email, López said of the slate: "The candidates have a very strong background in education, and Sobomehin and Latu have been steering the school district in the right direction regarding transparency and stewardship. My main concern with their priorities of commitment, experience, and legacy/leadership is that they are not priorities with a definition of success, progress metrics, or timelines, and, more importantly, do not include a specific mention of academic excellence, a rigorous education, or to high expectations for parents and children. Our children, especially those growing in an environment of systemic racism, deserve to be given the tools to succeed financially in life, and those tools involve love for learning, persistence, perseverance, and focus, which are only fostered when academic excellence is at the core of the decisions made by their educational institution."
For more on Ready Set Ravenswood, go to its website.
The Almanac has reached out to the candidates for comments on the slate.