We speak for numerous parents and staff in this response to your 12/18/20 article in The Silicon Valley Voice, regarding the 12/17/20 Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) board meeting and the trustees. In particular, we would like to offer insight into the person of a well-esteemed trustee, Vickie Fairchild. As an educator with SCUSD for 20+ years, we know Trustee Fairchild well, including her professional idealism, passions, relationships, and character.
In response to a concern that Trustee Fairchild’s 2 years of experience on the board is not enough for her to succeed as vice president (VP) of the board, we offer more information:
- Trustee Fairchild came to the board as a former SCUSD school psychologist, serving students and their families in finding optimal educational programs for their individual needs, since 2000/2001. She serves the board as a parent of children attending SCUSD schools. In character, she has shown integrity, passion, curiosity for the facts, and a rare openness for communication and collaboration. With the best intentions for all students, staff, parents, and the community, Trustee Fairchild endeavors to ensure all are heard. She is VP material.
In response to an individual’s critique of Trustee Fairchild’s behavior going beyond the role of a trustee, the CA School Boards Association (CSBA) reports the following:
The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs, and priorities of their communities. Boards fulfill this role by performing five major responsibilities:
- Setting direction
- Establishing an effective and efficient structure
- Providing support
- Ensuring accountability
- Providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district, and public schools.
Trustee Fairchild’s behavior has been appropriate to the service of fulfilling her role as a trustee on a board overseeing thousands of people of varying ages, needs, beliefs, experiences, and cultural/personal backgrounds. She listens to the community beyond the table, pursues information shared to ensure the facts, and asks appropriate questions for clarification to assist the board in making responsible, informed deliberation.
Overall, Trustee Fairchild works hard in keeping her community informed while remaining approachable to their concerns, thoughts, and ideas. Regular, open communication for all helps promote the spirit of justice and equality among a highly diverse community.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. – Alice Walker
Concerned SCUSD Educators and Parents