Letter to the Editor | Medhekar, Thomasson show up and work to get things done

I would like to enthusiastically endorse Ruchi Medhekar and Lindsay Thomasson for the two open seats on PUSD’s School Board. I’ve gotten to know Lindsay and Ruchi very well in the last few years, and among the many things I admire about them is that they show up and do the hard work.

As someone who has attended nearly every School Board meeting since June 2020 and knows several of our current School Board trustees quite well, I am routinely struck by how much time and effort it takes to be a truly engaged School Board member. Our School Board members are unpaid, but they spend hours and hours every week researching upcoming meeting topics, attending the bi-weekly School Board meetings (which often run 4+ hours), and participating in numerous school and community committees.

I am fully confident that Lindsay and Ruchi will not only accomplish the many tasks and responsibilities required of successful School Board members, but they will throw themselves into those roles with the same energy and passion that they’ve already brought to this district in their previous volunteer work. Those roles include assuming the parent club presidencies during (arguably) the most difficult school year in the history of this district – 2020/2021 when we were in the throes of Covid and emotions were running very high among all district stakeholders. Lindsay and Ruchi were able to use their positions as parent club presidents to advocate for the needs of students, many of whom were struggling significantly in distance learning, while also working to find common ground with district administrators and staff. Many of the relationships they formed during that difficult period have only strengthened since then, and I know will serve them well as they continue to build bridges throughout our community as School Board trustees.

In addition to their parent club presidencies, Lindsay and Ruchi have stepped up to do the work on less visible but arguably even more impactful committees like being site council representatives, where they work with school principals to plan for the needs of their school; working on the LCAP committee, where they advocated for a district-wide survey earlier this year to ensure that the current LCAP goals reflect the priorities of the community. Additionally, Ruchi has served on the board of the Piedmont Education Foundation to better understand the ways our dollars are spent in this district, and on the Piedmont Recreation sub-committee, where she has routinely advocated for working parents struggling to find childcare in the city’s afterschool program. Lindsay has served on the Superintendent Advisory Committee, where she has had a direct line to our district leadership and has passionately advocated for improvements to our literacy curriculum, and she co-leads the Wellness Center Support Committee, where she works to raise money to support our students’ social and emotional needs.

This is the kind of hard work that being a successful School Board trustee requires. We need School Board members willing to dig in and devote their time and energy to the work. Lindsay and Ruchi have shown their track record for rolling up their sleeves and getting the work done. I cannot think of two better qualified candidates for our School Board, and I’m so eager to see what they will accomplish when elected.

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