Dr. Darshana Patel Endorsed by Key PUSD Stakeholders

Dr. Darshana Patel, candidate for Poway Unified School District Board of Education, has earned the endorsement of three key organizations representing members of the PUSD Community: Coalition for Effective School Board Leadership, Poway Federation of Teachers and Poway School Employees Association.

On August 24th, the Coalition for Effective School Board Leadership endorsed Dr. Patel.cesbl_logo Of the nine candidates in the race, eight candidates vied for this endorsement and only two met the 6 criteria: integrity, focus on students, understand complexity of public education regulation, consensus building, understand school board governance and advocate for fiscal responsibility. The Coalition is comprised of well-respected educators, community members and business leaders across the entire PUSD area.

On September 12th, The Poway Federation of Teachers announced endorsement of Dr. pft-logoPatel. All nine candidates were considered and only two were endorsed. The PFT endorsement process was rigorous, with a questionnaire, board interview and member open question session. In their endorsement, PFT cited three qualities that stood out with Dr. Patel: she will put students first, support teachers and work collaboratively with all stakeholders.

On September 19th, The Poway School Employees Association unanimously voted to pseaendorse Dr. Patel. The PSEA organization also had an open endorsement process with questionnaires offered to all candidates. While a few candidates were interviewed, only two were endorsed, and Dr. Patel was one. Dr. Patel is committed to advocating for respectful dialog with employee groups since all staff can impact the quality of education PUSD offers.

Dr. Patel has earned other significant endorsements as well – for a complete list, please visit her endorsements page (https://patel4pusd.wordpress.com/supporters/)


Platform Themes: Excellence, Resources and Advocacy

PUSD has a proven reputation as an exemplary school district, serving its community by delivering a high quality of education despite financial pressures. Our community has legitimate concerns that this outstanding quality of education is approaching a point of inflection.

  • There is a divided voice on the Board of Trustees
  • Residents don’t have a complete grasp of the rationale of board actions
  • Our top-level administration and significant number of staff are nearing retirement
  • Teachers are looking for training and support in transitioning to new education standards

I’ll work effectively every day for PUSD:

  • Excellence – Prioritize education, staff and finance
    • Our district has historically performed well based on mutual respect for all aspects of the education system. PUSD not only provides high quality education for our children but also is a responsible employer to several thousand residents. We need to work cooperatively to maintain this successful model of education.
  • Resources – Balance STEM, arts and whole child
    • Due to our current financial landscape, we must more effectively use our available resources to balance the education needs of our students. I will use a sensible approach in addressing education resource issues under board purview.
  • Advocacy – Seek participation, collaboration and reform
    • As a member of the board, I will keep open lines of communication and work with community groups. My years of community and school volunteerism have given me the right experience to focus on putting education first.

I am inherently a problem solver and consensus builder. I can use my strengths to guide our district in the right direction:

  • Needs of students – having three young children in the system, I have a vested interest in high quality public education
  • Era of STEAM – my formal education and training gives me the necessary background to support both science and arts
  • Respect for professionals in the district whose passion for education is proven with their dedication
  • Ability to rationally analyze data and priorities to develop strategies for success

* I am qualified: I have a PhD in Biophysics from University of California at Irvine, have a Bachelor of Arts from Occidental College, and have worked at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD) and Genentech, Inc. (South San Francisco, CA). I am a strong advocate of public education and have a genuine interest in the education experience. I am capable of digging into the weeds, but not getting stuck in them. My science background brings valuable STEM expertise to the Board. My Certification in Project Management, combined with extensive experience working on civic boards, makes me an objective problem-solver who can manage budgets and resources.

* I am dedicated: I have served on The Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council (serving as President, and Chairs of Education, Web&Print, Fiesta and Safety Committees), The Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board (appointed member of the Land Use Committee)
SDPD Police Captain’s Advisory Board – Northeastern Division, Park Village Elementary School Foundation (Science and Technology Director), Park Village Elementary School PTA (Reflections Chair and VP Legislation), Poway Unified School District Advisory Committee.

* I am trustworthy: In every role I have stepped into, I have fulfilled my responsibilities, held organizations to higher standards and have had the strength to voice my concerns. I am committed to ethically fulfilling my board responsibilities. I will continue to work collaboratively and effectively with teachers, administration and the community. Our children’s education is my top priority.

I am the strong leader PUSD needs to build consensus and restore education excellence as the top priority.