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By Julian Peeples

Across California, educators are rising to answer another call to public service – by running for election to school boards this November.

Seeking to bring their knowledge and experience about schools and education to school boards in their home communities, these educators are stepping up to build the schools all students deserve as elected policymakers. We’ll be spotlighting a number of educators running for school board here at the digital home of California Educator as the November Election approaches.

Meet one of these education champions: Tina Gustin-Gurney, a retired 30-year elementary educator and member of CTA-Retired, who is running unopposed for Westminster School Board.

Why are you running for school board?

I was appointed in October 2020 and wanted to bring my education experience to the board as they navigated through COVID. Now I’m running to continue the success of a great school board and provide consistency to a district that has had many changes.

What are your top priorities for the school district?

To be sure that all student receive an equitable education and ensure funding is spent wisely. Also to offer my own education experiences as we navigate various issues.

Why did you decide that now is the time to serve your community as an elected official?

After I retired as COVID hit, I decided to submit my application when the district needed to replace a board member. I’d thought about being on my local board when I retired and this opportunity presented itself. I am the current president of the board and feel I’ve contributed to making the district more understanding of the educators’ perspective and that students are the most important part of this endeavor.

What would you like to say to your fellow CTA members about running for elected office?

Your expertise about policies that affect classrooms and educators is invaluable in the decision-making process. You have a sense of reality that businesspeople don’t understand about how schools are run. You can offer solutions that make sense for schools. You can also make sure students are getting an equitable education. You know how to present information and to ask lots of questions!

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