Common Core motivates Puglia

She expresses concern about low levels of future funding for district.

October 16, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly,
  • La Cañada School Board candidate Kaitzer Puglia at her home in La Cañada Flintridge on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Kaitzer is one of eight candidates running for 3 open seats on the school board.
La Cañada School Board candidate Kaitzer Puglia… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

A professor at Pasadena City College for 16 years, Kaitzer Puglia is familiar with being inside a classroom. Now she wants a say in policy decisions at the La Cañada Unified School District. The 51-year-old mother of two teenage daughters is one of eight candidates running for a seat on the board in the Nov. 5 election. At her home in La Cañada, she discussed her campaign.

What is your motivation for running?

It was what was coming ahead for the district. Looking and seeing what is happening from the statewide level, funding-wise, looking about the national level. We're really being looked at.

Seeing that all these issues are coming and all this talk about Common Core, I'm concerned. I want to make sure someone is there to really understand what Common Core is and what it looks like.

With my background, I can see the legislative issues and how that kind of filters through, and what it looks like in a classroom.


I need to step forward and do this, so my time is a little more flexible, so that was terrific as well. On top of that, service has always been a part of what I do and who I am.

As a parent, is there a main issue or concern that you would bring to the board?

Ultimately no matter what my experience is, I'm a parent first and foremost.

It's not so much concerns that I have, but the board is going to go through quite a bit of transition in this next year. There are five different issues: one is the introduction of the Common Core curriculum, one is this new funding system from the state of California, one is this evaluation assessment procedure. So we've got quite a bit of transition going on.

I can't honestly, responsibly, say that I'm going to go in there and change so many things. The responsible board member will go in, assess what needs to be done, take a look at what the different perspectives are, and make a really good, solid decision.

As a professor, what have you learned that would help you on the board?

My background is in development and learning. Student learning is a primary focus of research of mine so the field of education itself has given me insight that this isn't a one-sided deal. There are various perspectives that we really need to consider when making a decision about a board. The board ultimately only makes policy and the policy has to be solid enough to support the superintendent, who can then ask her staff to implement to policy.

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