Gardner Bullis School parent Vladimir Ivanovic recently declared his intent to run for the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees in the Nov. 4 election.
This is not Ivanovic’s first time running for the school board – he ran in the 2012 election before bowing out mid-campaign and throwing his support to other candidates.
“I think the district has done an excellent job of educating kids and I’d like to continue and improve that,” he said.
Ivanovic, a tech industry retiree, moved with his family to Los Altos in 2008. His son is entering fourth grade and his daughter second at Gardner Bullis. He regularly attends district board meetings and serves as chairman of the district’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Finance. He is a member of the Gardner Bullis site council and has served on the school’s and the district’s technology committee. He has helped organize and support Gardner Bullis’ science fairs for three years.
“We are faced with big changes in expectations in technology, in jobs and what we call ‘21st-century education,’” he said. “I think we have a lot of work today curriculumwise.”
He would encourage more experimentation for the school district, resulting in more pilot programs – “learning from successes and failures,” he added.
Ivanovic said he was pleased to learn about the district’s five-year agreement with the charter school, announced last week.
“I think the current proposed agreement is a great cease-fire agreement, and we can hopefully use it as a basis for a long-term agreement,” he said. “Now we can focus on educating our kids as opposed to testifying in court, fighting about facilities.”
When asked about the district’s past relationship with Bullis Charter School, Ivanovic said he wouldn’t do anything differently.
“I think the district did what it had to do (in past facilities allocations),” he said. “It did what the community wanted it to do – not close a neighborhood school and oppose any attempt at that.”
Ivanovic said space and facilities are the district’s most pressing needs, emphasizing that the district needs to “account for growth.”
Moving forward, he’d like to see the district board set some goals for itself.
“They have been totally consumed with this Bullis Charter School thing,” Ivanovic said. “Now is the time to step back and ask what we want to accomplish as a board.”
Ivanovic said communications with other civic entities, such as the Los Altos and Mountain View city councils, must improve. He would like to see increased public participation in shaping the district’s goals.
“The district has been responsive to the public, but I think they can do better providing structure to its public input,” he said.
As the fall election season approaches, Ivanovic said he plans to meet with parents from all district schools.
“The more I talk with other people, the more I have found that I end up saying, ‘Wow, I wouldn’t have thought of that,’” he said. “So I really want to spend a lot of time talking to people – I really do value their input.”
Ivanovic said he hopes to use social media to spread the word about his campaign via blog posts, Twitter and Facebook.
For more information, visit go.vladimir4lasdboard.org.