don't know who might bring that to the board."
"Her first priority has always been what is best for the kids,"
Supt. Theresa Daem said. "She was one of the original people who
hired me, and I'll always be grateful for that."
However, district administrators and board members are optimistic
about Jenkins' entrance. They look to her years of volunteerism in
the schools, especially her efforts with the bond measure in 1998, as
an important asset that will add a fresh perspective to the board.
"What we'll gain with Betsy is someone who is well connected with
schools and PTAs," Whalen said. "She brings hands-on experience and a
knowledge of the issues that are currently of interest to the
Jenkins plans to continue her commitments to the Citizen's
Oversight Committee as well as continuing her role as PTA Council
Parent Education chairwoman in charge of Coffee Break.
"I really hope I can bring more of a parent and community
perspective to the board," she said.
Board member Jan Vickers foresees a smooth transition into a board
that is characterized by teamwork.
"Since the two years I've been back on the board, we have the
ability to respectfully disagree," she said.
All board members say that the lack of divisiveness has allowed
them, as well as the district, to take steps toward providing a
better experience that meets the social, emotional, mental and
educational needs of students.
"One of the strengths of the board is that we all have our
viewpoints, but it is a very collaborative and congenial effort,"
"I don't see how [conflict] serves youngsters," Turner said.
"Students deserve our best, and contention diminishes that effort."
Beyond construction and the Quest for Excellence initiative, the
board will prioritize professional development, as well as ways to
tap into the resources of the community.
Vickers envisioned a program similar to one at the Saddleback
District, in which volunteer "experts" from the community speak in
classrooms on various subjects.
"We have the potential here, but it's never come together," she
said. "[Laguna] has a lot of people who would love to do that."
"I think the community could make the school district better,"
Turner said. "This is a place where we can make a difference."